ForschungResearch Projects
Analyse der mittelfristigen Auswirkungen der Verkürzung der Gymnasialschulzeit um ein Jahr

Analysis of Medium-Term Effects of Shortening Secondary School Duration

Team:  Prof. Dr. Stephan L. Thomsen, Dr. Tobias Meyer
Year:  2016
Date:  31-05-17
Sponsors:  German Research Foundation (DFG)
Lifespan:  March 2011 - May 2017

The reduction of school duration for obtaining the university admittance qualification from 13 to 12 years has been one of the most important reforms in the German school system in recent years. The main objective of the reform was to enable an earlier labor market participation of university graduates. The aim of the research project is to empirically evaluate the effects of this reform. The project was started at the University of Magdeburg in 2008. It was funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG, Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft) since 2011.

The analysis is based on primary data which has been surveyed in three waves (2009, 2011, 2014) from the double cohort of high school graduates 2007 in Saxony-Anhalt. The reform was completed first in this state. Moreover, the introduction of the reform in Saxony-Anhalt represents a clear natural experiment, which allows to identify the reform effects very well. Because other data were not available, the data have been collected by the project team.

The project aims at examining the reform effects on the following outcomes:

  • School Achievements at High School Graduation
  • Personality Traits
  • Perceived Stress and Extracurricular Activities
  • Education Decisions after High School Graduation (University or Vocational Enrollment, Subject Choice)
  • Success in University Education
  • Labor Market Entry (Time of Entry and Job Characteristics)

To investigate whether the identified reform effects are also valid for other federal states, an additional analysis has been carried out on the basis of nationwide data.

The project was conducted at the University of Magdeburg until September 2011, and from October 2011 to May 2016 at the Lower Saxony Institute for Economic Research (NIW) in Hannover. Since June 2016, it is continued at the Institute of Economic Policy of the Leibniz Universität Hannover.