DP6552 School Tracking Across the Baltic Sea

Author(s): Kenn Ariga, Giorgio Brunello, Roki Iwahashi, Lorenzo Rocco
Publication Date: November 2007
Keyword(s): Central Europe, Scandinavia, school tracking
JEL(s): I21
Programme Areas: Labour Economics
Link to this Page: www.cepr.org/active/publications/discussion_papers/dp.php?dpno=6552

In spite of their relative vicinity Scandinavian countries and Central European countries (mainly Germany) have substantially different schooling institutions. While the former group of countries delays school tracking until age 16, the latter group anticipates differentiation between age 10 and age 13. This paper proposes a simple median voter model of school design which accounts rather well for these differences. The key idea is that voters weight the potential advantages of early tracking in terms of higher wages and human capital against the information loss associated to early selection.