September 2004

IZA DP No. 1295: The Enrollment Effect of Secondary School Fees in Post-War Germany

published as 'Effect of Secondary School Fees on Educational Attainment' in: Scandinavian Journal of Economics, 2012, 114 (1), 147 - 176

This study utilizes the heterogeneity of the fee abolition for West German secondary schools to identify its effect on enrollment and to obtain an estimate of the price elasticity of demand for education. The analysis is based on administrative school enrollment statistics as well as on representative individual-level data from three annual surveys of the German Mikrozensus. Estimates suggest that enrollment in Advanced Schools increased by about six percent due to the fee abolition, where the results are sensitive to the specification choice. The positive enrollment effect of fee abolition for women exceeds that for men. A fifty percent reduction in fees is associated with an overall change in enrollment rates by 3 percent, where the elasticity of the demand for females' education again exceeds that for males'.