NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Does Educational Tracking Affect Performance and Inequality? Differences-in-Differences Evidence across Countries

Eric A. Hanushek, Ludger Woessmann

NBER Working Paper No. 11124
Issued in February 2005
NBER Program(s):   CH   ED

Even though some countries track students into differing-ability schools by age 10, others keep their entire secondary-school system comprehensive. To estimate the effects of such institutional differences in the face of country heterogeneity, we employ an international differences-in-differences approach. We identify tracking effects by comparing differences in outcome between primary and secondary school across tracked and non-tracked systems. Six international student assessments provide eight pairs of achievement contrasts for between 18 and 26 cross-country comparisons. The results suggest that early tracking increases educational inequality. While less clear, there is also a tendency for early tracking to reduce mean performance. Therefore, there does not appear to be any equity-efficiency trade-off.

download in pdf format
   (329 K)

email paper

This paper is available as PDF (329 K) or via email.

Machine-readable bibliographic record - MARC, RIS, BibTeX

Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w11124

Published: Eric A. Hanushek & Ludger Wössmann, 2006. "Does Educational Tracking Affect Performance and Inequality? Differences- in-Differences Evidence Across Countries," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 116(510), pages C63-C76, 03.

Users who downloaded this paper also downloaded these:
Epple, Newlon, and Romano w7854 Ability Tracking, School Competition, and the Distribution of Educational Benefits
Figlio and Page w8055 School Choice and the Distributional Effects of Ability Tracking: Does Separation Increase Equality?
Hanushek and Woessmann w14633 Do Better Schools Lead to More Growth? Cognitive Skills, Economic Outcomes, and Causation
Bertrand, Duflo, and Mullainathan w8841 How Much Should We Trust Differences-in-Differences Estimates?
Hanushek, Link, and Woessmann w17591 Does School Autonomy Make Sense Everywhere? Panel Estimates from PISA
 
Publications
Activities
Meetings
Data
People
About

Support
National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138; 617-868-3900; email: info@nber.org

Contact Us