Beiträge zur Jahrestagung des Vereins für Socialpolitik 2014: Evidenzbasierte Wirtschaftspolitik - Session: Education I A18-V1
In Germany and many other countries, students are tracked into various secondary school types. This paper studies whether parents or teachers assess students potential educational performance more adequately. Educational attainment is measured by grade retention rates. We take advantage of a reform in the German state of North Rhine- Westphalia (NRW) in 2006. The reform replaced parents choice about their children s secondary school type by a binding teacher recommendation. Our data comprises class-level information on all public secondary schools in the state. We find that binding teacher recommendations cause less grade retentions. The effect is mainly driven by students from better situated districts. This finding may capture that with free parental choice, overambitious parents tend to select too demanding tracks for their children.