Upper secondary school tracking, labor market outcomes, and intergenerational inequality in Denmark

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We study the relationship among family background, placements in upper secondary school tracks, and labor market outcomes in the comprehensive welfare state of Denmark. We base our study on high-quality data from Danish administrative registers with a focus on the 1986 birth cohort, which allows us to examine very fine-grained measures of track placement in upper secondary schools. Our analyses show three results. First, upper secondary track placement is consequential for labor market outcomes, even after we control for the selection into tracks on pre-track academic performance and family background characteristics. Second, upper secondary track placement appears to affect labor market outcomes even net of higher education attainment. Third, educational tracking appears to play a role in intergenerational social reproduction net of family background-based skill gaps, suggesting that track choice helps maintain inequalities across generations. We discuss the implications of our findings for the literature on educational tracking.
Original languageEnglish
JournalLongitudinal and Life Course Studies
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)279-298
Publication statusPublished - 2022

    Research areas

  • Faculty of Social Sciences - educational inequality, labour market outcomes, social stratification, upper secondary school tracking

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