Bertschy, Kathrin Cattaneo, Maria Alejandra Wolter, Stefan C.
Year of Publication:
IZA Discussion Papers No. 3323
The transition from school-to-work has been a burning issue in most countries for the last decades. So far research on this topic has not been conclusive, and it is still not clear whether transition problems are just individual, linked to the type of education followed at upper-secondary level, or just a prolongation of problems arising from poor school performance during compulsory education. This paper uses a unique Swiss longitudinal data-set, which includes information on PISA 2000 scores and the pathways chosen after completing compulsory school. Descriptive results show that students in vocational training, who obtained lower PISA results, are significantly more likely to be in an inadequate employment situation two years after finishing vocational training. Further analysis shows, however, that it is the type of vocational training followed at upper-secondary level that is decisive for the success in the transition. Nevertheless, individual PISA scores have an indirect impact on the transition results, as they are an important factor explaining which pupils are more likely to get into an intellectually demanding vocational training and which ones are not.