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Welcome and Opening of the NEPS Conference
Christian Aßmann (LIfBi)
Anniversary Lecture: 10 years NEPS [Download PDF]
Cordula Artelt (LIfBi)
Chair: Manja Attig
Chair: Nadja Bömmel
Chair: Philipp Handschuh
Chair: Timo Gnambs
Chair: Sebastian Franz
Chair: Lydia Kleine
The fundamental causes of educational inequality
Michelle Jackson (Stanford University, US)
Chair: Christoph Homuth
Chair: Florian Wohlkinger
Chair: Gundula Zoch
Announcement of the winners of the NEPS Publication Award
Christian Aßmann (LIfBi)
Short presentation by the award winners
Chair: Lena Nusser
Chair: Anika Bela
Chair: Annalisa Schnitzler
Chair: Claudia Traini
Chair: Jacqueline Lettau
Chair: Corinna Kleinert
Roundtable „Meet the Research Data Center“
Previous studies suggest that migration background related differences in the verbal abilities and the socio-emotional development between the Germany-born children of immigrants and the children of German natives result from deficits in the parental investments of the former group. This assumption has led to the development of initiatives to improve the parenting skills of immigrant parents. However, whether parenting mediates the effects of growing up in often low-resource contexts and minority language homes is still open to question. Sociological and sociolinguistic perspectives contend that both parenting, verbal skills, and socio-emotional development are markers of parents’ social contexts and, therefore, a consequence of their socioeconomic circumstances, and not of parental deficits. Furthermore, the development of socio-emotional skills is fundamentally dependent upon language. This paper uses data from the National Educational Panel Study Starting Cohort 1, a random sample of n=3481 infants born between 2012 and 2013 in Germany, with a follow-up of over six consecutive years. Data from a standardized language assessment, and of a standardized test of executive control, an important dimension of socio-emotional development, are used in combination with various measures of parenting styles, practices, and investments. Joint mediation analysis is used to estimate, respectively, the direct effects of migration background on language and the mediated share going through parenting, as well as the mediated effect of both language and parenting on socio-emotional development. Results suggest parenting mediates a small share of the effects of migration background on children’s behavior and an even smaller one of the effects on language development. However, language is the most important mediating pathway between children’s migration background and executive function. Evidence suggests parenting interventions may be limited in their capacity to reduce gaps in socio-emotional behavior, unless the verbal ability gap among preschoolers, that are not mediated through parenting, are attended to.
Based on comprehensive research results, linguistic skills can be assumed as direct prerequisites for mathematical learning (Schröder & Ritterfeld, 2014). Furthermore, connections between linguistic skills and mathematical learning can be suspected via working memory processes (Prado, 2018). Even though the involvement of individual components of working memory in mathematical (David, 2012) and linguistic (Archibald, 2016) learning processes could be identified, the relationship between all three components − linguistics, mathematics, working memory – in the context of mathematical learning seems to be not yet well understood. Especially, there is a lack of information detecting the relationship between all three components within the important developmental age span between pre-school and end of primary school age.
Hence, we used longitudinal NEPS data from starting cohort 2 (age 4-10) to address this research gap by different sub-studies. First, we computed ANCOVAS to investigate the extent to which pre-school requirements in the domains of linguistic and/or mathematical skills have an influence on the development of both areas of competence. Further, the influence of working memory on the development of linguistic and mathematical skills was taken into account. Second, we calculated path and mediation analysis to discover underlying interdependencies between linguistic skills, mathematical skills and working memory within the mathematical learning process.
The results of the different sub-studies point to a complex interplay between linguistic skills, mathematical skills and working memory within the mathematical learning process between pre- and primary school age. Especially the influences of linguistic skills on mathematical learning were manifold: On the one hand, linguistic skills seem to be a direct prerequisite for mathematical learning. On the other hand, linguistic skills appear to be necessary to convey the influence of working memory on mathematical learning. Ultimately, the generation of mathematical knowledge may even be supported by linguistic skills relieving the working memory performance.
The goal of the present study is to extend previous research on the developmental trajectory of intrinsic reading motivation during early adolescence. Using large-scale panel data on secondary school students in Germany, we examined: (1) the longitudinal measurement invariance of intrinsic reading motivation, (2) the generalizability of the developmental trajectory of intrinsic reading motivation across students’ gender, parental socioeconomic status (SES), and school tracks (academic vs. vocational), and (3) the associations between the developmental trajectory of intrinsic reading motivation and the developmental trajectory of reading proficiency. The scale we used to measure intrinsic reading motivation showed the (strict) measurement invariance across six occasions of measurement from Grades 5 to 10, indicating the high structural similarity (e.g., factor loadings, intercepts) of intrinsic reading motivation during early adolescence. Our analyses of latent growth curve models also confirm previous findings that students tend to experience a steady and significant linear decline in intrinsic reading motivation from Grades 5 to 10. This developmental decline also seems to be more pronounced in size than previously reported (∆ = −0.772, p < .001). The developmental decline in intrinsic reading motivation was observed irrespective of students’ gender, parental SES, and school tracks. Male students expressed lower mean-levels of intrinsic reading motivation across the waves and exhibited a steeper motivational decline compared to female students. Despite mean-level differences across the waves, students showed similar degrees of a motivational decline across parental SES and school tracks. Finally, the larger decline in students’ intrinsic reading motivation was associated with the smaller growth of their reading proficiency from Grades 5 to 10. Our study provides further support for the high prevalence of the developmental decline in intrinsic reading motivation during early adolescence, its generalizability across students’ demographic characteristics, and its implications for the development of reading proficiency.
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Socioeconomic differences in health among college students require explanations. One is that health inequalities at that age are partially explained by different exposure to health-related risk factors at earlier stages of the life course. Or, they may reflect preexisting inequalities in chronic conditions. But there are also processes and mechanisms that occur during this particular life stage. We argue that three general pathways underlie the association between socioeconomic differences and health at the individual level: a) behavioural, b) psychosocial and c) material. However systematic research on these pathways in this particular age group is incomplete, and even more so for Germany. We therefore answer the question: Do individual determinants (behavioural, psychosocial and material factors) contribute to the explanation of health inequalities among young adults aged 16 to 24 years?
We apply random effects models to the National Educational Panel Study (NEPS) to disentangle the health inequalities among roughly 12‘000 college students (Ø28 years, 40% men) over a period of seven years (2010-2017). First results show that the majority in our sample is quite healthy. Nearly 90 % report being on very good or good health. The mean number of days students were affected by health problems was only 2.5. However, we still found substantial differences with regard to socioeconomic position, health behavior and material resources. Greater success and a higher satisfaction with one’s studies lead to better health. Of special relevance is the result that a higher occupational position of parents has a positive impact on student’s health. We therefore argue that social inequality matters even in a group with high social standing like college students.
In the OECD countries, every third student leaves university without completing their degrees. Against the background of potential far-reaching negative effects of students’ dropouts on the individuals’ future career prospects, the search for causes and influencing factors has been going on for decades. One area in this complex web of causes is that of the non-cognitive prerequisites the students bring along. In addition to motivation, the students’ physical and mental health as a finite resource can be seen as a key factor. Theoretically, this paper builds on the value-expectation theory and argues that poorer health reduces the probability of obtaining a targeted degree as well as the expected benefits of studying. Moreover, to the extent that the burdens of studying itself contributes to poor health, the perceived costs of studying may increase too. Thus, this paper hypothesizes that a deteriorating health in the course of studies shifts the cost-benefit-considerations of studying towards a more negative perspective which should lead to higher dropout intentions.
The empirical analysis is based on data from the LAST study (Life Course Perspective and Dropout from Higher Education). Starting in 2017, this four-wave panel survey analyzes the influence of different life domains on academic success and dropout intentions of undergraduate students at the Carl von Ossietzky University of Oldenburg, Germany (n = 7,169). The empirical analysis covers two steps: on a cross-sectional basis, OLS regressions with the pooled dataset are calculated. To examine longitudinal effects, Fixed Effects models are implemented. Results suggest that poor physical and mental health correlate with stronger intentions to leave university prematurely. This can be observed both cross-sectionally and longitudinally. In particular, emotional role functioning and mental health have significant impacts on students’ dropout intentions even when considering central control variables such as the social integration or the average school-leaving grade.
Due to teacher shortage in many countries (Klemm und Zorn 2017; Kim und Corcoran 2018), it would be desirable that most of student teachers complete their studies successfully and then start working as teachers. In fact, dropout of teacher education students is a problem as it leads to fewer transitions into the teacher profession (Dupriez et al. 2016).
An established explanation model for dropout in higher education originates from Tinto (1975). Following his student integration model, dropout is the result of a malintegration into the social and academic system of the university. Whereas contact to other students can be seen as an indicator for social integration; the subjective perspective of one’s own achievement in the study program is an aspect of academic integration. Although the model has been proven to explain the decision to drop out in many different contexts, it is yet little known if the effects are the same for teacher education students compared to students in other study programs (see Bohndick 2020).
Teacher education students differ from students in other study programs concerning personal characteristics and their study conditions (e.g., Henoch et al. 2015). These differences might cause different associations of social and academic integration with dropout. Knowing more about the differences of this relation can help to reduce the dropout rate in teacher education.
We draw on data from the student cohort of the national education panel study that includes an over-sample of teacher education students (Blossfeld et al. 2011). The analytical sample contains teacher education students and students in other study programs in similar field of studies (e.g., students in medicine and law are excluded). We use structure equation modelling with multi-group analysis to investigate differential effects of social and academic integration on the intention and the actual decision to drop out.
The automation of job tasks due to technological change increases the pressure on employees whose workplaces consist largely of such activities. In this context, politics and science attach great importance to further training, although the benefits in terms of adapting job tasks for affected workers have hardly been investigated. Building on considerations of human capital theory and the task-based approach, this study examines the effect of training on job tasks and the probability of automation for employees who are at risk of automation. These are workers who a) work in routine intense jobs or b) have a high probability of automation, based on the expert assessment of the automatability of occupations by Frey and Osborne (2017). The study uses data from the National Educational Panel Study (NEPS), which provides the opportunity to compare the returns to different forms of further training, namely formal, non-formal and informal training. Fixed-effects models are estimated to account for unobserved heterogeneity. The results show that non-formal and informal training in the form of media use actually helps to reduce the intensity of routine tasks. The effects of training on analytic, interactive and manual tasks as well as the probability of automation differ depending on the type of training but are in many cases not significant. There is some evidence that high-skilled workers benefit more from non-formal training, while lower-skilled workers tend to obtain higher returns from informal learning. In addition, the degree of computerisation and job changes also seem to play a role in the extent to which training affects job tasks. Taken together, these findings suggest that policies to promote training in the context of technological change should take into account the different types of training, target groups and contexts.
Recent technological developments suggest that many workers need retraining to maintain their employability. Automation using digital technologies may lead to changes in job tasks and even the disappearance of whole occupations. Especially in the latter case, workers need to learn new skills later in life to be able to move to emerging occupations. However, changing occupations is difficult in Germany because many occupations require specific formal certificates. Therefore, especially formal further education is important to help workers move from declining to emerging fields. Formal further education is defined as the attainment of a generally recognized educational certificate such as a vocational or university degree after entry into the labor market. Currently, only few adults on the German labor market engage in such programs despite a large number of occupations at risk of automation. This paper aims to explore whether the automation risk in the present occupation influences decisions to enter formal further education. To do this, I use the distinction between idealistic aspirations (unconstrained wishes) and realistic (constrained) intuitions to pursue formal further education. I aim to find out whether automation risk influences the idealistic aspiration to aim for a further formal certificate. Furthermore, I use the mismatch between idealistic and realistic aspiration to find out about the barriers to participation, especially among those who are most likely to be affected by automation. The analyses are based on NEPS SC6 data from wave 8 matched with data about occupation specific automation risks from the IAB. Preliminary results show that about 30% of employed adults report the idealistic aspiration to pursue a new certificate. However, descriptive statistics and multivariate regressions suggest that this is not influenced by automation risk. Furthermore, a mismatch between idealistic and realistic aspirations is more likely among poorer households, families with children, and less-educated workers.
Technological change and automation has increased substantially in recent years and they have not only altered the communication and information systems, but also large parts of the working world. These fundamental changes also bring about a change in the training needs of employees; they create new employment opportunities, cause excessive demands or raise fear of job loss. The National Educational Panel Study (NEPS) have started to interview its adult respondents (NEPS-SC4 & NEPS SC6) with a survey instrument designed to measure the changes in the world of work, such as the use of digital technologies, and their perceived consequences, such as cognitive stress or fear losing employability.
But how well can the new questions on measuring digitalization address the entire scope of the world of work? Which social groups are better or worse represented in terms of the consequences? We are investigating these questions in our methodological study. On the one hand, our analyses focus on criterion and construct validity of the new instruments. On the other hand, we focus on the group differences in terms of gender, age, education, ICT-literacy and the main task type of employment of the respondents. We show how these groups differ related to the subjective perception and change in the digitization of their workplace, their need for further training and their assessment of opportunities and risks caused by digitalization.
Finally, we show which questions of social inequality can be examined empirically with this new instrument and how studies on the polarization of the world of work can be supplemented with these data for Germany.
The extent to which achievement gaps become wider or narrower in the course of schooling is a topic that is widely discussed in educational research and in the public. This study examines whether there are path-dependent and status-dependent cumulative advantages in competence development over the course of the school career.
In other words, I try to answer the following questions. First, is the gap between the good and bad achieving pupils widening? Second, is the gap between social status groups widening?
I investigate competence growth of three German student cohorts (National Educational Panel Study (NEPS), N = 12,311) within different stages of their school career (primary school (SC2), lower secondary school (SC3), and upper secondary school (SC4)).
In order to take into account, the data structure and the federal organization of the German school system, I apply Bayesian multilevel models using weakly informative priors to estimate the effects of prior achievement and social origin on competence growth.
Results consistently suggest that there is a strong negative association (-0.4 – -0.5) between prior achievement and subsequent growth. Additionally, I find that high SES pupils achieve higher competence gains compared to low SES pupils. Results favor the status-dependent cumulative advantage mechanism, but not the strict path-dependent cumulative advantages mechanism. The gap between the formerly good and bad achieving pupils is narrowing slightly. However, the gap between social classes is widening.
In this paper we provide the first causal evidence on how high-stakes incentives inherent in the German school system affect early educational achievement by inducing greater study effort. Specifically, we examine whether primary school students respond to incentives arising from early ability tracking–the allocation of students to different secondary school tracks based on previous achievement. We address the following questions: Does the need to perform well to qualify for a better school track increase study effort, and if so, does it translate into achievement gains?
We use two complementary research designs and two separate data sources (IQB Bildungstrend and NEPS) to estimate the response of primary school students to tracking incentives. The first is a difference-in-differences (DiD) design that exploits the fact that two states have repealed binding track assignment policies relatively recently and gave parents free track choice. In a second research design, we leverage the fact that student performance is not graded until third grade and track recommendations are only based on performance in grade 4. As a result, the performance incentives from binding track assignment in secondary school are less salient in the lower grades of primary schools. To estimate effects, we thus compare test score gains between grades 2 and 4 in states with and without binding track assignment.
We find across both research designs that tracking incentives have a substantial impact on academic achievement of primary school students. With free track choice, student test scores in grade 4 are reduced by between 0.10-0.14 standard deviations in math, 0.06-0.08 in reading, 0.09 in listening and 0.2 in orthography. Achievement effects can be found throughout the entire ability distribution.
Identifying high-quality teachers who substantially contribute to student learning has been one of the main challenges faced by policy makers and researchers in education in recent decades. The value-added to student achievement model –derived from the education production function literature– has become a key tool for estimating the effects of individual teachers not only on students’ short-term academic success but also on later-life outcomes. We use data from the first elementary school grades of the Starting Cohort 2 of the German National Educational Panel Study (NEPS) to estimate teacher value-added to mathematical and early reading competence development. We specify our teacher value-added model with fixed as well as random effects. Both model specifications apply empirical Bayes shrinkage to adjust the teacher value-added estimates by their level of precision. Our results show substantial teacher effects or individual contribution to math and early reading competence development in the first grades of the German elementary school, and also substantial variation in this contribution. One standard deviation increase in teacher effectiveness or value added is associated with at least 17 percent of a standard deviation increase in student mathematical competence score, and at least 16 percent of a standard deviation increase in early reading competence score, over a year of instruction. In addition, we find that only few teacher observable characteristics modestly explain the teacher value-added estimated.
Pre-service teachers’ personality traits are seen as crucial for developing into a successful teacher since they determine how pre-service teachers are able to use the learning opportunities given by teacher education (Roloff Henoch et al., 2015). More general, personality characteristics such as the Big Five have been found to be associated with academic success and subjective as well as objective career success (e.g., Vedel, 2014). Here, some personality traits are especially important regarding positive career outcomes. Therefore it is important to investigate which entry characteristics can be observed in teacher education. Since personality traits also drive major choice it is likely that pre-service teachers with different majors differ in their personality and therefore have different resources that are available for mastering their studies. Previous studies have grouped majors only into a few broad categories when analyzing teacher students’ personality possibly blurring group differences within STEM and non-STEM fields (Ertl & Hartmann, 2019).
The current study uses data of the NEPS first-year students starting cohort (SC5) to examine the Big Five of pre-service teachers with different majors in comparison to students not aspiring the teacher profession. The sample comprises 3305 female and 1684 male students across eight different majors (German language, Social Sciences, Economics, Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Geography). Of the sample 46% aspire the teacher profession.
Results indicate that personality traits are associated to gender, teacher education (vs. non-teacher education) and major. While neuroticism and conscientiousness differentiate between female and male students, openness is associated to belonging to certain majors and extraversion clearly distinguishes between pre-service teachers and other students with pre-service teachers showing higher scores.
The results are discussed with respect to the recruitment of pre-service teachers and regarding the development of strategies to compensate lacking favorable personality characteristics.
Teacher preparatory service in Germany is the “most important formal learning environment” for prospective teachers to develop professional competencies (Kunter et al. 2011a: 60). One facet of teacher competencies subsumes aspects of self-regulation. Occupational well-being or more specific, job satisfaction, belongs to these aspects (Klusmann et al., 2008: 704). According to Richter et al. job satisfaction can be linked to social support and its subdimensions (2011: 40; 2013: 174). Regarding the preparatory service in Germany, there are different sources from which support can arise. These are mentors (at schools), instructors (of the obligatory study seminar) and co-pre-service teachers.
The research questions are therefore: How does instrumental support as one specific dimension of social support (Richter et al., 2011: 43) influence job satisfaction of prospective teachers? And do these effects differ depending on the source that provides support?
Analyses are based on data from Starting Cohort “First-Year Students” of the German National Educational Panel Study (NEPS; Blossfeld et al., 2011; doi:10.5157/NEPS:SC5:14.0.0). The analysis sample contains n=1850 pre-service teachers. Measurement scales reach high internal consistency (.83 ≥ α ≥ .72); a CFA confirms the factorial structure of instrumental support by the different sources. A SEM reached good model fit (RMSEA=.034, CFI=.985, TLI=.980). The effect of instrumental support differs between the sources and only the effects by mentors (β=.17) and instructors (β=.10) are significant. To control if the duration of the ongoing preparatory service influences the effects, measurement invariance tests were conducted successfully (between groups).
It is planned to add selected control variables into the SEM model in further analyses. Details of these analyses will be presented and the meaning for preparatory service will be discussed.
Occupational self-regulation is crucial for dealing effectively with stress at work. As a facet of teachers’ professional competence, it is considered to be a learnable skill (Baumert and Kunter 2013). However, previous research has shown a high stability of this attribute (Roloff Henoch et al. 2015). Against this background, the proposed contribution aims to investigate the stability over time of four distinct patterns of occupational self-regulation (H: healthy-ambitious, U: unambitious, A: exessively ambitious and R: resigned; see e. g., Klusmann et al. 2008; Menge and Schaeper 2019).
The analyzes are based on data of n=401 participants from two online surveys (2016 and 2018) of starting cohort “First-Year Students” of the German National Education Panel Study, who transitioned from the second part of teacher education (also called preparatory service; see Klusmann et al. 2008 and Dicke et al. 2016) to work between the two measurement points.
Occupational self-regulation is measured by a short scale of the Occupational Stress and Coping Inventory (AVEM) from Schaarschmidt and Fischer (2001) with two subscales each for occupational engagement and resilience to occupational stress. All four scales show good internal consistency (for each measurement point α ≥ 0.77).
The factor structure of the instrument was confirmed by factor analyzes (T1: RMSEA=0.057; CFI=0.959; T2: RMSEA=0.061; CFLI=0.961). Tests of measurement invariance over time demonstrated (partial) scalar equivalence for three and partial metric equivalence for one subscale. A latent transition analysis (LTA) showed that 68% of the sample retained their original self-regulation pattern, whereby people with risk patterns are more likely to transition into health-promoting patterns than vice versa.
In a final step, which is still pending, predictors for transitions in and out of risk patterns will be tested and implications will be discussed.
In Germany, participation in non-formal further education courses is common, as these are mainly offered by employers. Men participate more frequently in such courses but these gender differences are often explained with other socio-demographic characteristics, such as education or place of residence. However, previous studies seem to have largely overlooked whether and to what extend gender disparities in further education are linked to family formation and the associated changes in maternal employment after childbirth. This study contributes to the literature on further training participation by (1) investigating the role of childbirth and associated changes in work and family life for gender inequalities in non-formal training activities from a long-term perspective; and (2) examining whether employment-oriented work-family policies are linked to gender disparities.
Based on human capital theory, it is assumed that employers generally have less incentive to invest in firmspecific training for mothers because they expect interruptions in employment and more part-time work due to increased family responsibilities after the birth of a child. However, over the last decade, employment-oriented family policies have significantly increased maternal employment rates and shortened mothers’ family-related employment interruptions after child birth. It is therefore assumed that employers’ have increased their support for mothers’ participation in further education. Hence, gender disparities in further education should be smaller when supportive family policies are available.
The analysis uses NEPS SC-6 data and applies fixed-effects panel models. Preliminary results show that in the first 10 years after child birth, mothers are less likely than fathers to participate in non-formal further training courses. These differences are particularly pronounced for job-related trainings. With increasing age of the child, mothers again participate more frequently – even more frequently than fathers. In addition, first results indicate that gender inequalities are smaller when employment oriented family policies enable an early return to work.
Times of technological innovations require constant adaption to workplace- and occupational skill-requirements. Therefore, the importance of further training over the life course increases. However, previous studies showed that training participation is unequally distributed based on individual and workplace characteristics. Yet, it may be that previous training also plays a role because it facilitates and motivates further participation. So far, little is known about the dynamics of training participation over the life course. This paper investigates the persistence of job-related non-formal training participation over the life course among workers in Germany. The theory of skill formation by Cunha and Heckman (2007) predicts that previous educational investments should promote following educational investments. This is because skills attained at one stage augment later skill acquisition and thereby raises the productivity of skill investments. Therefore, further training participation at one stage may generate cumulative advantage because further participation is caused by previous participation (“true state dependence”). However, we assume that this differs between men and women because they follow different employment trajectories over the life course. We test these predictions using data from starting cohort 6 of the Germany National Educational Panel Survey (NEPS), which contains detailed information on learning and working trajectories of individuals born between 1944 and 1986 in Germany. We apply correlated dynamic random effects probit models (Rabe-Hesketh & Skrondal, 2013; Grotti & Cutuli, 2020, forthcoming) that allow to assess the causal effect of previous training participation on current training participation by controlling for unobserved heterogeneity. Our preliminary results reveal that there is substantial and statistically significant true state dependence for both genders, with a slightly higher effect size of previous training participation on later participation for women. Nevertheless, for both genders, unobserved heterogeneity remains the main driver concerning persistence in non-formal training participation.
Around the world, the COVID-19 pandemic has led to the closure of formal childcare facilities and schools so that childcare has fallen back into the responsibility of families. This study examines the short-term consequences of this closure for working parents in Germany – a country dominated by a modernized breadwinner model. By applying multinomial logistic regression models to novel panel data from the National Educational Panel Study (NEPS-C), we analyse (1) the chosen informal care-arrangements among parents under control of pandemic-related altered working conditions and (2) resulting changes in parental well-being.
To draw a comprehensive picture of the informal care arrangements in Germany during the first months of the crisis (May/June 2020), we focus our analyses on three types of families: working mothers with 14-years-old schoolchildren (NEPS-SC2), working mothers and fathers with under-14-years-old school and pre-schoolchildren (NEPS-SC6), as well as highly educated working mothers and fathers with under-14-years old school and pre-schoolchildren (NEPS-SC5). Based on the neoclassical economic theory and the resource-bargaining perspective, we expect that altered working conditions in the course of the COVID-19 pandemic will influence the ad-hoc division of family work. Specifically, we expect that parents will have greater bargaining power and thus be less involved in parental childcare if they work in a system-relevant occupation, have to work more hours or are unable to work remotely.
Our analyses indicate that mothers continue to play a key role in the ad-hoc care-arrangements during the COVID-19 pandemic confirming the traditional division of family work in German couples. Moreover, the results illustrate the importance of working conditions, especially the possibility of remote work, in the bargaining processes of parents. However, contrary to our assumptions, parents’ well-being was not influenced by the chosen care arrangements during those turbulent months.
The relative age effect on children’s later performance is still controversial as the theoretical arguments and existing evidence support both early as well as late school entry. Discussions are further extended to whether relative age effect, if there is any, last in the long run. Besides, studies in this regard are mostly concentrated on examining the entry age effect on children’s cognitive development. This study, based on the NEPS Starting Cohort 2 (Elementary school), investigates the effect of school entry age on children’s ability to cope with everyday school life. Furthermore, we also examine the extent of such effect and whether it persists when children complete their elementary school.
Initially cross-section analysis were conducted separately for grade one and four, and findings from the study suggest that there exists a significant positive effect of school entry age on children’s ability to cope with school life at grade one. Moreover, the effect also persists at the crucial point in time when students are to enter the tracked system after grade 4. Both effects were significant after controlling for background variables of the students. In the ongoing research, using the panel nature of the data we try to explore the underlying mechanism behind the relative age effect, and, whether any particular group of children enjoys relative advantages over the others.
Formal education is one of the most influential predictors of professional success. As in Germany parents are aware of this, they usually try to enable their children to attend the prestigious academic schooling track (Gymnasium). This explains why the transition recommendation after the fourth grade is sometimes ignored if not given for the desired track. This means that the teacher recommends to attend a lower schooling track (e.g. the intermediate track), but parents do not agree with this judgement and overrule it. If this happens, a track mismatch occurs. How this affects the further infantile development is not yet sufficiently known. Especially the consequences for well- being, competences and overall academic success seem to be highly relevant. The following analyses, based on five consecutive panel waves of German NEPS data starting cohort 3 (waves 1 to 5, collected between 2010 and 2016), demonstrate that social background and the probability of ignoring a missing recommendation are associated and highly educated parents are more likely to overrule the teacher’s recommendation than parents with lower education degrees. Growth-curve models demonstrate that pupils without a mismatch are significantly more likely to drop out of the academic schooling track and they are not able to catch up to their peers with respect to both objective and subjective competences over the entire observation window. When other outcomes like well-being, the enjoyment of reading or health are analysed, none to little effects are visible, which also depend on the type of operationalization of “academic track” (only Gymnasium or the combination of Gymnasium and comprehensive schools). Summarized, the results are highly informative especially for parents who are confronted with the decision for a schooling track in secondary education. While the hopes that sub-standard competences will converge to the average abilities of the peers in the academic track are not justified, there are probably no severe disadvantages associated with a track mismatch.
In Germany, school transition has been studied extensively. While most studies focused on students’ cognitive development, achievement and inequalities, the development of students’ affective characteristics has been neglected. However, studies have shown that positive emotions towards school and learning (such as school enjoyment) have a positive impact on school achievement (Hagenauer & Hascher, 2014; Pekrun et al., 2017).
School enjoyment may be defined as a positive emotional attitude towards the entire learning environment at school, i.e., lessons, teachers, classmates and school activities (Fend, 1997). Emotions, such as enjoyment, are aroused by cognitive appraisals and influenced by interpersonal relationships, individual experiences and goals (Mandl & Reiserer, 2000; Pekrun, 2006). At the transition to secondary school, the curricular demands, school subjects, teachers and classmates change. Therefore, school enjoyment is expected to change during the transition. Additionally, in line with stage-environment fit theory (Eccles & Midgley, 1989), one can expect that students with higher levels of parental support, higher educational and socio-cultural background will cope better with the transition to secondary school than disadvantaged children.
Previous studies have shown an increase of students’ school enjoyment girls reporting higher levels of enjoyment than boys (Hagenauer, Reitbauer, & Hascher, 2013; Harazd & Schürer, 2006; van Ophuysen, 2008). In our study, we analyzed the development of school enjoyment from 4th to 5th grade via latent growth curve models with data of the starting cohort kindergarten (N = 2737, 52 % female). We found an increase of school enjoyment when sex, school track and grades in mathematics and German were controlled for (Mslope = .36, SE = .10, p < .05). Indicator variables for disadvantaged children, e.g., HISEI, idealistic school aspiration, migration status or parental monitoring had no significant effect on the intercept or the slope factor. Methodological limitations and educational implications of the study will be discussed.
Students’ vocational interests can be characterized by Holland’s (1997) theory of occupational choice. Holland distinguishes six interest dimensions, namely Realistic, Investigative, Artistic, Social, Enterprising, and Conventional interests. Although these attributes are relatively stable during adolescence, their stability increases dramatically during college years (Low et al., 2005). As vocational interests are often applied for career-counselling and study choice (e.g. Jörin-Fux et al., 2003), it is essential to investigate how far they develop during the first years of study.
This study investigates the persistence of students’ interests in the NEPS first year student cohort (SC5; Blossfeld et al., 2011). The paper analyzes 3088 male and 4221 female students that studied in one of six major study clusters (about 70% of the sample; see Ertl & Hartmann, 2019) and provided data about their vocational interests at wave 1 and wave 9.
Results of the study show strong and highly significant correlations for all interest dimensions. These were strongest for Artistic interests (r = .711) and weakest for Conventional interests (r = .486). The correlations distinguished significantly between most dimensions.
Based on these results, a latent profile analysis was carried out, which distinguished 6 classes. The largest class (79%) showed constant interests between wave 1 and wave 9. The second largest class (10%) described a loss in Social and Enterprising interests and similarly, the third largest class a boost in Realistic, Investigative, and Conventional interests (6%). Minor classes describe a gain in Social and Enterprising interests (3%), a general gain in interests (2%), and a general loss in interests (1%). These classes distinguish with respect to different study clusters, gender and study outcome.
The analysis shows that 21% of the sample are still developing their interests – especially in the Enterprising, the Social and the Realistic dimension that are key dimensions for career choice and therefore for career counseling.
Academic self-concept is shown to predict important educational outcomes like motivation, course choices and achievement. To a certain extent, it can be predicted by academic achievement, but another major determinant of academic self-concept is direct and indirect feedback for instance from parents and teachers (Trautwein and Möller, 2016). Furthermore, achievement evaluation and feedback processes are intertwined in common school settings. This applies particularly to marks, which provide information on achievement but also are part of teacher’s feedback to students. Unfortunately, the latter is not completely neutral but biased by the assignment of better marks for higher social background (Helbig and Morar, 2018). Reading or math competences also are measurements of achievement and depend strongly on feedback processes and leisure activities at home (Boudon, 1974). Thus, social background also might be relevant here.
Surprisingly, there is little research considering and analysing direct or indirect relationships between social background and academic self-concept (e.g. Muijs 1997; Arens et al. 2017; Li, Xu, and Xia 2020). That is why the present paper focusses on these interrelations while considering achievement. The National Educational Panel Study (NEPS; Blossfeld, Roßbach, and von Maurice 2011) in Germany Starting Cohort Grade 5 is used as database. Path analyses within a structural equation framework are applied to uncover the direct and indirect influences (Duncan 1966; Schumacker and Lomax 2016).
The analyses show that an indirect relationship between social background and academic self-concept over achievement (marks, competences) is evident. The higher the social background, the better the achievement and the higher the academic self-concept. Interestingly, there is no direct relationship between social background and German self-concept when using mark in German as achievement indicator. Furthermore, contrary to expectations, the direct relationship between social background and math self-concept is negative while the indirect effect is positive.
While a large body of research addresses both subject choice and student dropout in higher education, much less is known about why students switch from the major they have initially chosen. Therefore, we ask what factors cause students to switch their major in higher education and analyse this for the case of Germany, taking the timing and the direction of such switches (within and across subject groups) into account. Based on the extended rational choice framework, we identify four main factors that might explain switching majors: individual achievement in secondary education, a (mis)match between individual occupational interests and the content of studies, parental background and parental and peer judgement of the initial subject choice. We test the derived hypotheses by applying logistic regression models to representative data from the German National Educational Panel Study (NEPS), Starting Cohort 5. Our results indicate that individual achievement, occupational interests, and the social environment affect switching majors, but their influence varies according to the direction and timing of the switch. While high-achieving students are more likely to switch majors, especially across disciplines and at a later stage in their studies, a mismatch in occupational interests mainly affects switching majors across broad subject groups. First-generation students are less likely to change their subject, especially across subject groups and at a later stage of their studies. Finally, disapproval of the initial subject choice by parents and peers matters most for switches during the first two semesters and across academic disciplines.
We analyse the economic returns in lifetime labour income of different educational paths in Germany, especially the difference between university studies and vocational training. New data (NEPS-SC6-AD-IAB) allows us to calculate cumulative labour earnings at different ages and to compare not only the highest educational degree, but also which educational paths have been taken, as well as the educational background of individuals. We look at each individual’s (log.) cumulative labour incomes at different stages in life in the multivariate analysis and calculate the difference between income earned with the chosen education and income which would have been earned with an alternative educational choice. Comparing individuals solely based on their educational choices attributes all income differences to differences in education. Additionally we use entropy balancing, so that the remaining differences in income can be attributed to educational choices and a hopefully small and random unobserved part.
We find that returns to education are positive for completed degrees, even when looking at lifetime labour income. Especially in later stages of life, individuals with a university degree earn significantly more than individuals with a vocational degree or individuals with no educational degree at all. However, the break-even points may occur later in life than one might have thought; for individuals with a university degree versus individuals with vocational training at age 50. Some of the positive returns on university education stem from positive selection on socio-demographics, parental background, and ability. So the average individual who holds a university degree might have earned more than the average individual with a vocational degree, even without a degree. When considering the failure risk of educational degrees and the possibility of educational upgrading, we find that individuals who start with a vocational training do not earn less than individuals who start with university studies.
This paper examines differences in employment integration and employment status between early mothers and later mothers. The focus is on whether early mothers differ in their career development compared to later mothers and why. Early motherhood could be defined as deviation from both the age norm and the social expectations on the sequence of certain life events (Hogan & Astone, 1986; Billari & Liefbroer, 2010). Typically, the birth of the first child takes place after graduating and gaining financial independence. Given that, young motherhood is a deviation from this social norm and may lead to (mild) forms of social isolation.
The empirical analysis employs data from the SC6 cohort of the NEPS, which allows investigating employment biographies of women born between 1944 and 1971. We analyze a series of hierarchical linear regression models and apply a Blinder-Oaxaca decomposition to quantify the impact of each mechanism.
As a result, there are statistically significant differences between early mothers and later mothers. Overall, early motherhood leads to negative quantitative and qualitative labor market outcomes. But the size of the differences is smaller than expected. Early mothers are more likely to invest in further qualifications after childbirth than later mothers. In doing so, differences in occupational status are reduced. Furthermore, early mother’s employment careers are promoted by paternal support but prevented by their higher number of children.The differences between early and later mothers are more evident in their occupational status than in the actual years of employment and are stronger within the group of higher educated mothers.
Dropout from vocational education and training (VET) is a prominent phenonemon in many dual-based training systems. In Germany, on average 25% of employment contracts are terminated prematurely. At the same time, the VET labour market is highly imbalanced, meaning that demand and supply is not well matched. The allocation of individuals to training occupations is, for example, restricted through local availability of training positions and demand-side recruitment processes. As a consequence, not all students are able to realize their preferred occupation.
In this study, I examine the consequences of unfulfilled occupational aspirations for dropout and transfer in the VET system. Despite the prevalence of the phenomenon, little is known about the behavioral consequences of unmet occupational aspirations. If dropout reflects the need to correct for imperfect career choices, students’ who did not succeed in realizing their aspirations may have a higher risk of dropping out from the VET system. Social psychological theories of goal setting suggest that aspirations represent the standard against which students evaluate their success. When aspirations are not met, dissatisfaction and negative emotions will make dropout more likely. The relationship between unmet aspirations and dropout may further depend upon the discrepancy between one’s chosen occupation and the aspired occupation. I will thus pay particular attention to severity and type of these discrepancies. This study will deepen our understanding about the consequences of unfullfilled aspirations.
To answer these research questions, I drawn on nationally representative survey data of secondary school graduates linked to administrative data from the Federal Employment Agency (NEPS-SC4-IAB). Information on students’ occupational aspirations are measured prior to their labour market entry and compared to their occupational destination. Preliminary results reveal that unfullfilled aspirations generally increase the risk of dropping out. Gender-normative discrepancies are particularly detrimental.
Adverse experiences can have a lasting imprint on children’s development. The dimensional model of adversity (McLaughlin & Sheridan, 2014, 2016) proposes two core dimensions of adverse experiences, i.e. deprivation and threat. According to the dimensional adversity model, deprivational experiences predominantly affect the development of cognitive skills, whereas threat experiences predominately affect the development of emotional and behavioural skills. Most research focuses on adversity during (early) childhood and adolescence, while adversity during infancy has gain a lot less attention. Using data from the newborn cohort (N = 3841) of the German National Educational Panel Study, we examined how exposure to deprivation and exposure to threat during infancy, affect the development of school readiness skills in kindergarten and 1st grade. Results from the regression analysis supported the hypothesis that infant deprivation (but not infant threat) is negatively associated with math scores and language skills in kindergarten. The hypothesis for threat was partially supported: While infant threat exposure (but not infant deprivation) negatively predicted emotion regulation in 1st grade, both, deprivation and threat predicted behavioural problems in 1st grade. Thus, the results support the theoretical assumptions of the dimensional adversity model - even for adversity exposure during infancy. Furthermore, this longitudinal data demonstrates the pervasive, long-lasting effect of very early deprivation and threat experiences on a child’s emotional, behavioural and academic development.
Well-being is a multidimensional construct incorporating mental, physical, and social dimensions (Columbo, 1986). Satisfaction can be seen as a dimension of well-being that substantially contributes to mental health (Migliorini, Tassara and Rania 2019). Student’s well-being is positively associated with achievement (Amholt et al., 2020; Tobia et al., 2019) and thus, plays an important role in their competence development and educational biographies.
Due to mechanisms of stigmatization, students diagnosed with special educational needs (SEN) may experience less well-being and satisfaction in school. Although labeling students is heavily criticized (see Algraigray & Boyle, 2017; Arishi, Boyle & Lauchlan, 2017), it is still a persisting procedure within the German school system (Autorengruppe Bildungsbericht, 2018).
Studies on well-being in school of students with SEN reveal mixed results. While Schwab (2014) found no differences in the well-being of students with and without SEN in inclusive schools, other studies show that - compared to their peers without SEN - students with SEN are less likely to enjoy going to school (McCoy & Banks 2012; Zurbriggen, Venetz & Hinni, 2018).
This paper draws on data of Starting Cohort 2 (n = 9337; n = 293 with SEN) of the NEPS (Blossfeld, Roßbach & von Maurice, 2011). All students were surveyed on various aspects of school well-being and satisfaction at the end of elementary school. We use a propensity score matching approach to investigate whether differences in well-being and satisfaction in school in grade 4 can be attributed to the label ‘SEN’ (Gangl 2015). We compare the group of students with SEN with statistical twins who were not assigned the label SEN, taking observed confounding variables (e.g. parental socio-economic background, child-related socio-demographic background and basic cognitive skills, and the federal states) into account.
The results of matching show that no general effect of the label ‘SEN’ can be observed but specific differences with respect to single indicators become evident. For example, receiving the label ‘SEN’ decreases general life satisfaction as well as satisfaction with friends and school. It also results in a lower degree of enjoyment of learning and mastering educational demands during school. There is also some indications of higher risks of feeling tired and lonely. But mental well-being in school of students with SEN is not affected.
Inclusive teaching practices lead to an educational emphasis on the consideration of the diversity of students characteristics and the avoidance of producing learning barriers for students who have traditionally been disadvantaged e.g. in consequence of individual characteristics such as a low socio-economic background, (ethnic and linguistic) minority background, special educational needs or gender (e.g. Ainscow & Messiou, 2018; Schwab, 2020; UNESCO, 2020). Inclusive teaching practices such as differentiation and grouping strategies are considered to be successful methods in dealing with students' diversity. However, the question arises, how teachers in different educational settings (regular, inclusive, special classes) deal with students' diverse educational needs. Against this background, the focus lies on the investigation whether there are any differences regarding the implementation of teaching practices on a didactic (differentiation) and organizational (grouping practices) level in different educational settings. The current study aims to answer the following questions:
(1) Are there group differences regarding the use of differentiation as teaching strategy and the use of grouping practices German lessons between at special schools, inclusive classes, and regular school classes?
(2) Are these differences based on characteristics on the context level (educational setting, class size, class composition regarding the percentage of students with migration background and those with high SES) or the teacher level (gender, migration background, teaching experience, perceived need for further teacher training)?
The project uses data of starting cohort 3 of the German National Educational Panel Study (NEPS; Blossfeld, von Maurice, & Schneider, 2011). Focusing on context persons of secondary students, data from 1034 German class teachers (755 teachers in regular classes, 89 in inclusive classes and 190 in special classes) are used. The scales assessing differentiated instruction (developed following the work of Ditton, 2000; quality of the scale Gehrer & Nusser, in press) on a four-point-Likert scale and items on the frequency of grouping practices within class (e.g. work with small groups, peer tutoring, individual work, frontal teaching) are considered. To shed light on the use of teaching practices in different educational settings, latent profile analyses as well as (multinominal) regressions are conducted.
Descriptive results show that differentiation is most often used in special classes, followed by inclusive classes and less often used by regular classes. However, the frequency of teachers’ use of grouping practices is rather similar between the three class types. Results from latent profile analyses indicate three profiles which differ in the frequency and the focus of the use of grouping strategies. Lower class size and higher number of students with migration background in class predicts higher use of differentiation. Teachers’ implementation of grouping practices is influenced by the students’ gender as well as by teaching experience.
International research on transitions from higher education to the labour market suggests that there are significant differences in the observed patterns depending, in particular, on field of study and attended higher-education institution. In this paper, we want to examine to what extent empirically observed selectivity of higher-education institutions is associated with later returns on the labour market. We argue that differences in labour-market outcomes can be related to the ability-based, selective composition of the student body. If high-ability students select (or are selected) disproportionally into specific higher-education institutions, a possible wage premium may result not from institutional socialisation but from the selection of graduates who would have gained high earnings anyway. Moreover, a higher wage can be expected also as the result of an institutional selectivity effect beyond individual characteristics, if institutional selectivity is considered by employers in wage formation processes following human-capital and signalling mechanisms. However, higher-education institutions differ considerably also in the fields of study they offer, and academic subjects themselves vary with regard to the average ability of their student intake.
To test our expectations, we use the 2009 graduation cohort of the Graduate Panel of the German Centre for Higher Education Research and Science Studies (DZHW), which is a representative survey of higher-education graduates in Germany. We operationalise labour-market outcomes in terms of wages in the early career. In a first approach, the extent of selectivity of higher-education institutions is represented by the corresponding average GPAs (upper-level secondary exam grades). Results of ordinary-least-square regression models of gross hourly wages indicate that there is a weak but non-significant effect of institutional selectivity in the expected direction, given the individual level of ability and the field of study. But even without controlling for individual ability, graduates’ wages do not depend on the composition of the student body. So far, it seems that ability-based composition and selectivity of higher-education institutions are of only minor relevance for early wages on the German labour market. In further analyses, we want to refine the measurement of selectivity by considering the field-of-study composition at higher-education institutions as well as regional differences in GPAs.
Fostering education in the ﬁelds of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) is associated with macroeconomic gains for developed countries. Less is known, however, about the eﬀect of a STEM-education on individual outcomes. In particular, it is likely that individuals diﬀer with respect to their returns to a STEM-education, i.e. some might gain while others might lose. This paper estimates heterogeneous labor market returns to a STEM-education in Germany evaluating marginal treatment eﬀects (MTEs). We exploit regional and temporal variation in the supply of STEM-related college spots in German districts to instrument the college major decision using unique longitudinal data from the German National Educational Panel Study (NEPS). The regional development of colleges is arguably independent of an individual’s earnings capacity after controlling for a rich set of potentially confounding regional and individual characteristics. A higher share of STEM-places in a district is associated with a signiﬁcantly higher likelihood of choosing a STEM-major when attending college. Instrumental variable (IV) speciﬁcations show that individuals who have graduated from a STEM-major earn on average 46% more, while exhibiting a slightly longer job search time after graduating from college, and being more satisﬁed with their job. Eventually, estimation of MTEs suggest a pattern of inverse selection into gains: individuals who are the least likely to choose a STEM-education are the ones who gain the most with respect to wages. In contrast, these individuals are also the ones who exhibit the longest job search time after graduating from college. Estimation of policy-relevant treatment eﬀects (PRTEs) suggest that policy interventions, which improve the local supply of a STEM-education, can shift individuals who gain the most from it into such an education, although it takes them longer to ﬁnd an appropriate job.
This paper aims at identifying regional characteristics, which make rural regions in Germany attractive for different types of graduates. It addresses that one crucial determinant of the future economic prospects of a region is the availability of human capital. However, the supply of skilled labour varies signiﬁcantly across German regions. The ability to prevent graduates from emigration and to attract young workers plays a key role for the prospects of rural regions in particular. This analysis focuses in particular on the impact of regional amenities on the observed graduates’ migration decisions. In a further distinction from previousnliterature, university graduates’ migration behaviour will be compared with vocational training graduates’ migration behaviour.
Our analyses are based on information provided by the German National Educational Panel Study (NEPS), a representative survey providing individual information on, inter alia, locations of school, vocational training, university and employment as well as ﬁeld of studies and educational performance. The individual data is merged with information on regional labour market conditions and amenitites.
Employing conditional logistic regressions, our preliminary results indicate that young people from rural areas exhibit higher mobility than their counterparts from urban areas. Furthermore, our results show, that migration decisions at labor market entry are heterogeneous with respect to the graduation type and with respect to the rurality of the graduates’ home region. According to these results, university graduates, who went to school in rural regions with less favourable socio-economic conditions, are less likely to return to their school region after university graduation. University graduates from very rural areas are more likely to migrate onwards from their region of graduation. Vocational training graduates, who originate from rural areas, are less likely to stay in their vocational training’s region for labor market entry and are more likely to move onwards after graduation.
Background and Key Questions: It has been shown repeatedly that educational trajectories in the Swiss educational system are socially selective. This is most evident at the transition after lower secondary education, where students choose between general, school based, education and dual vocational training. While most research has focused on these between track inequalities, there are also a number of opportunities within the VET track that are in uenced by social background. During rm based VET on upper secondary level apprentices have the possibility to obtain a federal vocational baccalaureate (FVB), enabling them to take up bachelors and masters studies at universities of applied sciences and at universities of teacher education. Besides university based higher education and without the need for an FVB, VET graduates also have the option of attending further professional education and obtaining federal diplomas at tertiary level.
This contribution approaches the educational trajectory from lower secondary to higher education as a sequence of linked educational choices. Does social selectivity increase within the VET pathway or does the FVB and the corresponding access to higher education mitigate the impact of social background on educational attainment?
Data and Method: By synthesising prior research, that focuses on single transitions analyses, and by conducting statistical analyses using data from two long running panel studies, the DAB and TREE panel studies, the cumulative social selectivity within the VET track is investigated. By beneting both from the long observation period of the TREE survey and the theoretical foundation of the DAB study this combination of data sources enables the investigation of social selectivity at the relevant educational transitions.
Results: The analyses of educational trajectories shows cumulative inequalities and a high level of path dependency. Generally students from higher social status are more likely to continue their education on the academic track, while students from low status families opt for vocational education and training. However, signicant eects of social background are also found within the vocational education and training trajectory. Children of parents with tertiary degrees choose more demanding VET professions and more often obtain the FVB and continue their education at tertiary level. The FVB and vocational tertiary education thereby seems to function as a compromise between the classic VET and academic education. It is attractive for low skilled students from higher social background, for whom it offers the opportunity to fulfil their aspiration of an university degree even though they do not have the necessary grades for an academic baccalaureate. While at the same time being attractive for highly skilled students from lower social background, enabling these to obtain a university entrance certificate while at the same time gaining vocational experience and earning an apprenticeship compensation, thereby diverting these students away from the academic track.
While there is much evidence on the impact of social and migration background on the transition into higher education, considerably less knowledge exists on the entry of higher education graduates into the labour market from the viewpoint of inequality. Existing studies suggest that the educational background affects labour market success and that migrant job applicants experience discrimination in application procedures. There is, however, a lack of (quantitative) empirical evidence on the impact of migration as well as educational background on income or adequacy of employment. To narrow this research gap, we study the transition of German higher education graduates into the labour market, with a focus on the impact of migration background and social origin as well as the interconnection of both characteristics. When studying inequalities, regression models are widespread even though they are less apt to precisely describe the effects on multiple dependent variables that are interrelated. This hampers the assessment of the overall effects that migration and educational background as well as educational biography have on labour market returns to higher education. To tackle these shortcomings, we fit a path model using data from the DZHW Graduate Panel. We consider different indicators of the educational trajectory and the direct as well as the indirect effects of migration and educational background on general education, higher education, labour market entry and the first years of employment. Preliminary results indicate rather heterogeneous social origin effects and weak effects of migration background.
What influence do media have on educational motivation and decision-making? Educational inequality is mostly a result of social background and especially the academic distance of the parents (Becker und Lauterbach 2016). Young adults often lack in role models to show them other career and educational options than the ones their parents had. The media and especially TV-shows can offer those role models that could motivate adolescents to choose an academic career even though they come from a family with no academic background. The Subjective Expected Utility Theory states that people make rational choices based on the expected use, the risk the probability of their success. All these decisions in the context of education are influenced by the social background and the academic distance of the parents. (Esser 1999) The Cultivation Theory assumes that the more media you use the more you belief in the reality the media shows an it influences your behavior (Signorielli und Morgan 1990; Nabi und Sullivan 2001). Based on these two theories, an interdisciplinary model was developed that shows the influence of media usage (TV-shows) on the educational decision in comparison to the influence of social background (academic distance of the parents). For 4 weeks people between 18 and 22 years were asked in an online survey to describe their recent educational decision (between vocational training and academic studies) as well as their media usage. Cultivation effects are expected to show that people who watch more academic TV-shows overestimate the rate of academic professions in the population and have a better opinion of these professions and therefore are more likely to choose an academic education, despite their social background. The corresponding data will be presented at the conference.
In our work, we make a methodological contribution to the widely used concept of primary and secondary effects. Although not always explicitly described in the language of causal mediation analysis, we argue that the primary and secondary effects distinction refers to a mediation process. Primary effects refer to the indirect effect of SES through performance on educational attainment. Estimation of these effects in the literature often employs decomposition-methods like KHB, which are based on the difference-method in mediation analysis. However, these methods rely on strong assumptions that are often not made explicit, and that when not satisfied would provide biased estimates. One of these states that there should be no treatment-induced confounder of the mediator and outcome effect. However, this assumption is almost certainly violated in this case. For instance, anticipatory decisions that affect both performance and educational decisions are also socially stratified (Erikson et Al. 2005). Besides, there is no agreement on which paths would represent a primary effect in this situation (Morgan 2012).
We propose a redefinition of primary and secondary effects in the language of causal mediation analysis, which is more relevant for potential interventions. Primary effects could be defined as “interventional natural indirect effects” that show by how much disparities in educational attainment could be reduced if there were no SES-disparities in performance. Alternatively, primary effects could be redefined as “partial indirect effects”, corresponding to the disparities in educational attainment that could be eliminated by setting the direct effect of SES on performance to zero. We present a simulation study to show how treatment-induced confounding biases estimates for primary and secondary effects and then estimate primary and secondary effects for the transition to secondary school using NEPS-SC2 with these definitions. We contrast these results with KHB and discuss the differences.
Especially in early tracking systems, where students are sorted into school tracks at a young age, parental background plays a key role in educational choices. To design efficient policies against education inequality, it is crucial to understand the mechanisms through which parents affect their children's schooling decision.
I use extensive data on former first graders and their parents (NEPS-SC2) to reveal these mechanisms. The measurement of parental background and child’s abilities are of key importance. I use the mother’s and father’s educational attainment as well as socio-economic status and the household income to measure parental background. Child’s abilities are measured by a series of indicators for cognitive and non-cognitive skills.
Using the khb-method, I decompose the effect of each parental characteristic on their offspring’s secondary school choice into an indirect effect via higher abilities, and a direct effect that is interpreted as differences in the decision process. The results show, that both the direct and indirect effect matter. A precise decomposition of the indirect effect indicates that it is important to foster both, cognitive and non-cognitive abilities. The precise composition of the total effect varies with background characteristics. Interestingly, the household income’s indirect effect is small, indicating that financial resources do not foster cognitive skills. Regarding policies, this implies that additional financial resources for disadvantaged households may not lead to higher child’s cognitive abilities. Further, mothers and fathers affect their offspring’s schooling decision differently. The mother’s socio-economic status seems to play a special role. Overall, results suggest substantial differences between boys and girls complementing recent literature on gender gaps in educational achievements. The impact of the parental background is more pronounced for children with low cognitive abilities suggesting that systematic differences due to parental background emerge through children with lower abilities from higher background who choose higher secondary education.
The study examines the adaptation of educational expectations. It focuses on the expectations that parents have of their children during the transition from primary to secondary school in Germany. During this transition, students are placed into different ability tracks. I examine whether parents react to this information about their child's achievement by adjusting their educational expectations or whether their expectations are nonreactive to the achievement information conveyed by track placement. I hypothesize that parents are more likely to adapt their expectations regarding final educational attainment if their child's track placement is not consistent with the expectations that they held before the track placement was known. Furthermore, I expect SES differences in this adjustment process.
I use data from the National Educational Panel Study (NEPS), Starting Cohort~2 and focus on the years between the third grade of primary school and fifth grade, which is the first year of secondary school. This means that I can follow students and parents across the moment in the academic career at which track placement happens. Furthermore, I use the variations in the tracking decisions across the German federal states to examine how the adaptation of parents' expectations is affected based on how much influence parents have on track placement. Two-way fixed effect models are employed to model the change of expectations between the two time points in the data.
I find that low-SES parents do adjust their expectations more strongly downward when their children receive a lower track placement than expected; however, high-SES parents maintain their high expectations even in light of such negative achievement information. High-SES parents adjust their expectations upward more strongly than low-SES parents if their children's track placement is higher than their previous expectations. There are greater SES-related differences in federal states where parents have more influence on tracking decisions.
Germany is one of the top host countries of international students among non-English speaking countries in the world. In 2018, while 38% of the world's international students (at higher education level) study in English-speaking countries, Germany accepts 5.5%, followed by Russia (4.7%), France (4.1%), Japan (3.2%) (OECD, 2020). In 2019, 302,157 Bildungsauslaender (9.9% of the total students) and 92,508 Bildungsinlaender (3.3% of the total) study at German higher education institutions. Approximately 40% of Bildungsauslaender major in engineering and more than half of them are in STEM field (DAAD 2020).
What kind of student life do they lead and how do they construct their careers after graduation?
To answer this question, we use NEPS data to compare the study motivation, living condition and post-graduation career of Bildungsauslaender with those of German students and Bildungsinlaender. We use Life Planning Model (Sato 2016) as our theoretical framework.
The research methods include cross-sectional and time-series analysis of their responses. In addition, we compare some data of Bildungsauslaender with that of international students in Japan to clarify their characteristics.
As a result of analysis, it was found out that Bildungsauslaender are highly motivated to study for their future success and enjoy their study, although they tend to suffer from lower self-esteem and less socializing opportunities. The Bildungsinlaender, on the other hand, were found to be less interested in the content of study, less satisfied with their level of living and more likely to study for financial stability in the future. Compared with international students in Japan, Bildungsauslaender tend to choose study destination because of quality of education and prospect of obtaining specialized knowledge.
The limitation of this study is Bildungsauslaender in English taught degree courses are not covered since NEPS survey is conducted in German.
Non-monetary returns to education were investigated intensively, but less is known about effects of specific educational content. Exceptions are studies on the effect of mathematics (Justman and Méndez, 2018), or compulsory religious education (Arold et al., 2019). Closely related to our paper, Fuchs-Schündeln and Masella (2016) show that East Germans, who were exposed to one year less of socialist education, are more likely to hold a university degree.
We contribute to this literature by investigating the effect of the school subject socialist education (Staatsbürgerkunde) on unexplored outcomes, political participation and interest. We follow Fuchs-Schündeln and Masella (2016) in our identification strategy and exploit the division and reunification of Germany as natural experiment.
In our analyses, we employ a Difference-in-Difference (DiD) approach. We first use West-Germans as control group and then exploit the variation among East-Germans in treatment exposure. We use data from the “Starting Cohort 6 Adults” of the German National Educational Panel Study (NEPS), providing data about East- and West-Germans born between 1944 and 1986. NEPS data also covers numerous political outcome measures: participation in political activities, voter turnout, interest in political issues and comprehension of politics. Notably, it allows identifying East Germans based on their place of birth and their residence during their school years rather than on their current place of residence. We therefore overcome concerns that plagued prior research.
First DID results show that East and West Germans do not seem to differ in political participation and interest more than 25 years after reunification. Further, preliminary findings from our analyses focussing on treatment exposure indicate for example that East Germans, who experienced socialist education for additional time, have less comprehension of politics than their counterparts with less socialist education.
Despite the significant structural inequalities and psychosocial challenges that young immigrants experience during their acculturation process in Germany, it is only partly understood how these additional obstacles affect their subjective well-being. This paper aims at closing this research gap by exploring potential life satisfaction differences between young natives and immigrants based on a sample of 10,222 tenth graders from the fourth starting cohort of the National Educational Panel Study in Germany. In contrast to the initial hypothesis, the results suggest that adolescent immigrants and natives are, on average, equally satisfied with their lives in Germany. Multivariate regression techniques reveal that immigrant youth are even more satisfied with their lives than their counterparts after controlling for several socio-economic effects. Analysing cultural integration mechanisms and different forms of friendship and family social capital shows that friendships are a decisive complement to support from the family during adolescence. Especially culturally distant immigrant youth benefit from good and supportive friendship networks.
Evidence from correspondence studies (a type of field experiment in the labor market) demonstrates a considerable extent of labor market discrimination: Individuals with a foreign or minority ethnic origin have a lower probability to be invited to a job interview than nonminority individuals even when all observed characteristics are equal, including the level and country of education. Previous research also indicates that labor market discrimination based on race or ethnic origin is at least partly explained by employer beliefs about unobserved characteristics of applicants. In particular, employers tend to believe that applicants with a foreign ethnic origin have less advantageous personality characteristics, such as lower conscientiousness or lower agreeableness. However, it has not been determined whether and to what extent these employer beliefs are statistically justified, as predicted by the theory of (unbiased) statistical discrimination, or whether they are biased. Understanding the mechanisms of discrimination is an important precondition for reducing discrimination and its consequences. In order to assess the statistical accuracy of beliefs that underlie discrimination, I test differences in personality characteristics between individuals with and without migration background, using data from a large random sample of the adult population in Germany: the adult sample of the National Educational Panel Study (NEPS). Analogously to field experiments showing ethnic discrimination, only individuals who have completed secondary schooling in Germany are considered and the qualification level—including education—is held constant between individuals. In addition to conscientiousness and agreeableness, I consider the feeling of connectedness to the people in Germany and gender equality values as outcome variables. The results indicate that differences between groups are mostly insignificant and small in estimated magnitude. Therefore, there is only weak support for (unbiased) statistical discrimination, and the results suggest that mistaken or exaggerated stereotypes might contribute to labor market discrimination based on ethnic origin.
Being embedded in strong ethnic communities and corresponding networks hampers the labor market integration of immigrants. Such relationships have often been shown for various immigrant groups and receiving contexts. Explaining these patterns, the basic argument is that ethnic networks provide access to fewer social capital than (inter‐)ties to natives. Due to lacks in social capital data, however, this argument has hardly ever been tested directly. Exploiting the comprehensive social capital measurement implemented in the German National Educational Panel Study, this paper helps close that gap. Combining event history analyses of the unemployment records of Ethnic Germans and immigrants from former recruitment countries with KHB decomposition, my empirical analyses reveal the expected social capital effects. The analyses moreover show that adding social capital to the equation yields much smaller direct effects of ethnic network composition. In line with an argument derived from both ethnic boundary making and social capital theory, I find that having access to job references increases the employment chances of immigrants from former recruitment countries more strongly than those of Ethnic Germans, which corroborates the circumvent discrimination hypothesis: Immigrants who are facing bright ethnic boundaries are using their social capital more than those facing blurred boundaries. Social capital thus becomes a means to circumvent (expected) discrimination in the labor market.
For young people, referrals by strong ties can be an effective means for finding the first job. However, using referrals by strong ties may not always be a preferable search method. Strong ties are only able to recommend school leavers to a limited number of vacancies. If these options do not fit the preferences of the job seeker, the utility of this search method is rather low. In our analysis, we aim at a better understanding of the circumstances in which school leavers (or their parents) choose referrals by strong ties as a search method. We investigate this research gap for non-college-bound school leavers in Germany whose entry into the labor market typically starts via apprenticeships. We ask the following research question: Why do young people select into the use of referrals by strong ties?
A standard prediction of Lin’s (2001) theory regarding social capital is that the use of social contacts depends on who has access to relevant network resources. Throughout the analysis we derive further reasons which potentially explain the usage of referrals by strong ties as an important informal search strategy: Several studies argue that young people frequently rely on informal search methods if they face difficulties during school-to-work transitions (e.g. Holtmann et al. 2017). An alternative explanation is that the use of referrals by strong ties might be trigged by employers’ engagement in referral-based recruitment procedures. Since employers’ recruitment behavior determines the opportunities to rely on referrals, job seekers’ referral use might predominantly depend on patterns of referral-based recruitment. (Marsden/Gorman 2001).
Our results are based on data from Starting Cohort 4 of the NEPS, which we supplement with regional labor market indicators. Applying hierarchical linear models, we show that young people strategically adapt their search methods to the given opportunity structure and that parental network resources are used to compensate for otherwise poor opportunities.