School Quality, Exam Performance and Career Choice

C. Dustmann, N. Rajah, A.H.O. van Soest

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The purpose of this paper is to examine the effects of school quality on performance in national exams and the career decision at age 16. We use micro data for the UK, which provides a rich set of variables on parental background, previous achievements, and community variables. We find that, conditional on school type, the pupil-teacher ratio has no effect on examination performance. The pupil-teacher ratio has an effect on the career decision at age 16 as to whether to remain in full time education beyond the minimum age, enroll in training activities, or join the labour market full time. This finding appears to be very robust, and sustains when school type variables, exam results, and ability are controlled for.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationTilburg
Number of pages31
Publication statusPublished - 1998

Publication series

NameCentER Discussion Paper


  • School inputs
  • educational attainment
  • training


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