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Zero returns to compulsory schooling in Germany: evidence and interpretation

Pischke, Jorn-Steffen ORCID: 0000-0002-6466-1874 and Wachter, Till von (2008) Zero returns to compulsory schooling in Germany: evidence and interpretation. Review of Economics and Statistics, 90 (3). 592 - 598. ISSN 0034-6535

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Identification Number: 10.1162/rest.90.3.592


We estimate the impact of compulsory schooling on earnings using changes in compulsory schooling laws in West Germany after World War II. Most estimates in the literature indicate returns in the range of 10% to 15%. While our research design is very similar to studies for various other countries, we find a zero return. We find no evidence that this is due to labor market institutions or the apprenticeship training system in Germany. The result might be due to the fact that the basic skills most relevant for the labor market are learned earlier in Germany than in other countries.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © President and Fellows of Harvard College and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Divisions: Centre for Economic Performance
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HA Statistics
Date Deposited: 16 Jul 2008 11:57
Last Modified: 08 Jul 2024 05:15

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