EduQuant seminar: Jesper Eriksen on Peer effects in Vocational Education and Training
Vocational Education and Training (VET) programs are prevalent in a European context but their drop-out rates typically exceed that of general upper secondary education. We study whether academically lower-performing students, who tend to have the highest drop-out rates, affect their peers' likelihood of remaining enrolled in VET programs by using Danish administrative data on VET entrants from lower secondary education together with reform driven changes in shares of entering students who did not pass either lower secondary Danish or Mathematics. We find that students who passed lower secondary Danish and Mathematics have a 5.6 percentage point higher probability of remaining enrolled in VET after the first year of studies when entering a VET school with one standard deviation higher share of below-passing peers. They also have a 2.6 percentage point higher probability of re-enrolling in another VET program. The estimated effects are stronger among students with higher GPAs from lower secondary education. Studying outside options, we find that students with higher shares of below-passing peers are substantially less likely to drop out of education entirely and slightly less likely to enter general upper secondary education. The results are consistent with a model of peer effects in which particularly unmotivated students become points of comparison for their peers, thereby increasing their motivation and likelihood of remaining enrolled.
It will be possible to join the seminar in person in room CSS 5.0.28 or via Zoom: https://ucph-ku.zoom.us/j/64889777838?pwd=OTl6RE10ZTJlMzVmLzFRZmx1TGZaUT09