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Empirical evidence in explaining the transition behaviour from school to studies - challenges in forecasting the number of first-year students in Germany

Autor: Britta Stöver
Nummer: 596, Jun 2017, pp. 19
JEL-Class: I21, I23

The German education system is organised in a federal system, i.e. each of the 16 Federal States is solely responsible for the supply and financing of the university places. Offering a sufficient number of these places is important in achieving the aim of promoting academic education and increasing the participation opportunities in higher education. An elaborate planning and monitoring is hence necessary, that equally considers external factors such as demographic change as well as individual changes such as the propensity to study and the preferred starting point of the studies. While the reasons for the decision in favour of studies are well documented, the reasons for a delayed start of the study were less subject to empirical investigation. Using panel regressions with fixed effects the transition from school to studies can be explained for different time lags. It can be shown that the influences on the transition behaviour are manifold and vary with the kind of the admittance qualification (for university or for university of applied sciences) and the length of the time lag. Fast transitions are mainly supported by a high relative number of above average exams, a high share of people in need of long-term care as well as a high number of granted student loans. Maintaining the school reform G8 with a shortened schooling time, wage raises broadening the financial scope for a year abroad or a voluntary social year as well as an increase in the rate of vocational training tend to delay the start of studies by one year. A growing risk of unemployment especially enhance a later transition by prolonging the entrance in the job market with the related job hunt.


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