Do local characteristics matter? Secondary school track choice in Poland

Ma?gorzata K?obuszewska, Magdalena Rokicka


This paper examines to which extent the school track choice in Poland between vocational and general education can be attributed to variation of personal characteristics and to which extent to variation of the local conditions. We assume that not only a family background, but also local characteristics are important determinant of school track decisions.

As we make distinction between three different types of secondary schools: basic vocational, secondary vocational, and general secondary, and we want to examine the county specific characteristics we apply a multilevel method for multinomial logistics regression to address the issue.

Our results indicate that both childs characteristics such as sex and school performance and characteristics of household are related to school track decisions. We also found that there is statistically significant variation in school track choice on the county level. Local unemployment rate is statistically significant determinant of school track decision and it also explains a great variation between counties. This finding is important in the light of EU regional cohesion policy aiming at diminishing regional disparities.


Arum, Richard, and Yossi Shavit. 1995. Secondary Vocational Education and the Transition from School to Work. Sociology of Education 68 (3): 187204. doi:10.2307/2112684.

Averett, Susan L., and Mark L. Burton. 1996. College Attendance and the College Wage Premium: Differences by Gender. Economics of Education Review 15 (January): 3749. doi:10.1016/0272-7757(95)00027-5.

Betts, Julian R. 2011. The Economics of Tracking in Education. Handbook of the Economics of Education. Elsevier.

Bradley, Robert. H., and Robert F. Corwyn. 2002. "Socioeconomic status and child development." Annual review of psychology 53(1): 371-399.

Brewer, Dominic J., Eric R. Eide, and Ronald G. Ehrenberg. 1999. Does It Pay to Attend an Elite Private College? Cross-Cohort Evidence on the Effects of College Type on Earnings. The Journal of Human Resources 34 (1): 10423. doi:10.2307/146304.

Cappellari, Lorenzo. 2004. High School Types, Academic Performance and Early Labour Market Outcomes.

Carmeci, Gaetano, and Laura Chies. 2002. Education and Local Labour Market: The Case of Italy. Lavoro E Relazioni Industriali 1.

Cedefop - European Centre for the Development of Vocational Training. 2013. Labour Market Outcomes of Vocational Education in Europe Evidence from the European Union Labour Force Survey. Thessaloniki: Cedefop.

Checchi, Daniele, and Luca Flabbi. 2007. Intergenerational Mobility and Schooling Decisions in Germany and Italy: The Impact of Secondary School Tracks.

Christensen, Sandra, John Melder, and Burton A. Weisbrod. 1975. Factors affecting college attendance. The Journal of Human Resources, 10(2): 174-188.

Dolata, Roman. 2011. Analiza R?nicowania Si? Systemu O?wiaty W Polsce Na Poziomie Szkl Podstawowych I Gimnazjw, Edycja 2011. Centralna Komisja Egzaminacyjna, Warszawa.

Doma?ski, Henryk. 1997. Mobilno?? I Hierarchie Stratyfikacyjne. Elementy Nowego ?adu, Warszawa: Wyd. IFiS PAN.

Dustmann, Christian. 2004. Parental Background, Secondary School Track Choice, and Wages. Oxford Economic Papers 56 (2): 20930. doi:10.1093/oep/gpf048.

Grossman, Michael. 2006. Chapter 10 Education and Nonmarket Outcomes. In Handbook of the Economics of Education, edited by E. Hanushek and F. Welch, 1:577633. Elsevier.

Hanushek, Eric A., Ludger Woessmann, and Lei Zhang. 2011. General Education, Vocational Education, and Labor-Market Outcomes over the Life-Cycle. Working Paper 17504. National Bureau of Economic Research.

Hartog, Joop, and Hessel Oosterbeek. 1998. Health, Wealth and Happiness: Why Pursue a Higher Education? Economics of Education Review 17 (3): 24556. doi:10.1016/S0272-7757(97)00064-2.

Herbst, Miko?aj, and Aneta Sobotka. 2014. Mobilno?? spo?eczna i przestrzenna w kontek?cie wyborw edukacyjnych. Instytut Bada? Edukacyjnych, Warszawa.

Hilmer, Michael J. 1998. Post-secondary fees and the decision to attend a university or a community college. Journal of Public Economics 67(3): 329-348.

Hilmer, Michael J. 2001. A comparison of alternative specifications of the college attendance equation with an extension to two-stage selectivity-correction models. Economics of Education Review 20(3): 263-278.

McElroy, Susan Williams. 1996. Early childbearing, high school completion, and college enrollment: Evidence from 1980 high school sophomores. Economics of Education Review 15(3): 303-324.

McLoyd, Vonnie C. 1998. Socioeconomic disadvantage and child development. American psychologist 53(2): 185.

Mincer, Jacob. 1974. Schooling, Experience, and Earnings. Human Behavior & Social Institutions No. 2., January.

Mocetti, Sauro. 2012. Educational Choices and the Selection Process: Before and after Compulsory Schooling. Education Economics 20 (2): 189209. doi:10.1080/09645291003726434.

Myck, Michal, Anna Nicinska, and Leszek Morawski. 2009. Count Your Hours: Returns to Education in Poland. SSRN Scholarly Paper ID 1442647. Rochester, NY: Social Science Research Network.

Nguyen, Anh Ngoc, and Jim Taylor. 2003. Post-High School Choices: New Evidence from a Multinomial Logit Model. Journal of Population Economics 16 (2): 287306.

O?wiata i Wychowanie W Roku Szkolnym 2013/2014. 2014. Central Statistical Office.

Putkiewicz, El?bieta, and Marta Zahorska. 2001. Spo?eczne nierwno?ci edukacyjne-studium sze?ciu gmin. Instytut Spraw Publicznych.

Psacharopoulos, George. 1994. Returns to Investment in Education: A Global Update. World Development 22 (9): 132543. doi:10.1016/0305-750X(94)90007-8.

Rice, Patricia. 1999. The Impact of Local Labour Markets on Investment in Further Education: Evidence from the England and Wales Youth Cohort Studies. Journal of Population Economics 12 (2): 287312.

Skrondal, Anders, and Sophia Rabe-Hesketh. 2003. Multilevel Logistic Regression for Polytomous Data and Rankings. Psychometrika 68 (2): 26787.

Soko?owska, Katarzyna. 2014. Determinants and Perceptions of Social Mobility in Poland, 1992-2008. Contemporary Economics 8 (1): 89101.



  • There are currently no refbacks.