This paper analyzes the impact of shortening the duration of secondary schooling on the accumulation of human capital. In 2003, an educational policy reform was enacted in Saxony-Anhalt, a German state, providing a natural experimental setting. The thirteenth year of schooling was eliminated for those students currently attending the ninth grade. Tenth grade students were unaffected. The academic curriculum remained almost unaltered. Using primary data from the double cohort of Abitur graduates in 2007, significant negative effects were discovered for both genders in mathematics and for females only in English. The effects on literature were not statistically significant.
student performance school duration learning intensity natural experiment