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Session Overview
Paper Session 6A: Mobility and school-to-work transitions
Friday, 04/Feb/2022:
10:30am - 12:00pm

Session Chair: Daniela ROHRBACH-SCHMIDT
Location: Room 1

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Changes in the Returns to Education at Entry into the Labour Market in West Germany


1University of Bern, Switzerland; 2University of Bamberg, Germany

It is investigated to what extent societal processes such as educational expansion, economic modernization and business cycles have affected the returns to educational certificates of women and men entering the labour market in West Germany. Using longitudinal data, long-term changes in cohort- and period-specific effects on socio-economic status attainment at entry into the labour market are investigated between 1945 and 2008. Analyses demonstrate that the entrants’ average socioeconomic prestige scores have clearly risen in the process of modernization. Despite educational expansion, increasing skill demands for highly qualified graduates resulted in rising rates of returns for the most highly educated entrants across birth cohorts. While educational expansion and economic modernization have boosted socioeconomic returns at entry into the labour market for women from all educational levels, it has not been the case for men with the lowest levels of education. Both, educational expansion and rising skill requirements of occupations led to an increasing polarization of inequality between tertiary educated labour market entrants and less qualified school leavers. Educational expansion in West Germany has therefore never exceeded the occupational skill demands at entry into the labour market.

Improved Prospects for a Smooth School-to-Work Transition? Transition Patterns and Turbulence of Disadvantaged School Leavers in Germany in Times of Increasing Demand for Trainees

Brigitte SCHELS, Juliane ACHATZ

Institute for Employment Research

This study examines the school-to-work transition (STWT) patterns of German school leavers from lower and intermediate secondary schools in the years 2008 - 2013. In these years, huge changes in the German vocational training market have led to an increased demand for trainees. How are the trends reflected in the STWT? Have the chances of a smooth transition improved in general and for disadvantaged young people in particular? We use administrative data from the German Federal Employment Agency to identify STWT patterns and turbulence measures by sequence analysis. We use both patterns and measures as dependent variables in multivariate regression models. First results show that the chances for a smooth STWT have increased over time. Neither low-skilled young people nor school leavers from families on welfare were able to catch up to their better-off peers. Still, the STWTs have become less turbulent overall, but especially for young people with low school-leaving qualifications.

The effect of training firm conditions on educational success

Pontus af Burén, Jürg Schweri

Swiss Federal University for Vocational Education and Training, Switzerland

This paper evaluates the effect of different training firm conditions on their apprentices’ educational success, namely on premature contract termination and on exam success or failure. There is a large literature estimating the effect of school inputs on student outputs, whereas the literature on the relationship between firm training inputs and apprentices’ outcomes is sparse. This paper will address this gap in the literature, using a large employer-employee matched data set of 10,800 apprentices in 4,700 training firms in Switzerland. Preliminary multivariate results confirm the expected relationship between firms’ training cost, training organization and strategy on the one hand, and apprentices’ educational success on the other.

Educational homogamy as a socio-institutional influencing factor of VET in the pandemic and post-pandemic time (based on results of international comparative analysis)


Atonomous Non-profit Organization "Dialog-Regions", Russian Federation

The COVID-19 pandemic changed the usual course of social life, affected all social processes (for example, limited the possibilities for social mobility) and affected the sphere of education. However VET is analyzed traditionally with the focus on economic factors, but the prospects for VET in the context of educational mobility, as well as the problem of socio-institutional influencing factors of VET in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, was not widely discussed.

The object of the research is intergenerational educational homogeneity as a socio-institutional influencing factor of VET. Intergenerational educational homogeneity is a social-institutional phenomenon, which means that within one family the generation of “children” has the same level of education as the generation of “parents”. The goal of the research: to analyze the prospects for the development of VET under the influence of educational homogeneity in a pandemic and post-pandemic time.

The empirical basis of the study was an international comparative analysis of educational homogeneity in VET in Austria and Russia. At the first stage, a secondary analysis of quantitative data was carried out, at the second stage - 15 expert interviews (7 in Austria and 8 in Russia).

The following results were obtained:

VET in both Austria and Russia is the sphere with the highest level of intergenerational educational homogeneity (in comparison with the areas of higher and completed school education);

Educational homogeneity plays an important role in preserving and fixing the social structure, reducing the opportunities for social (as well educational) mobility in both countries;

In the conditions of COVID-19, there is a reduction in the most important channels of social growth (including educational mobility), which in the future may lead to an increase of the level of educational homogeneity and an increase in social distance between social groups with different levels of education in both countries.

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