Seminar: A Setback Set Right? The Intermediating Role of the Education System in the Event of Family Distress
On Tuesday October 8th 2019, Renske Stans (Uni Bonn) will give a presentation titled: "A Setback Set Right? The Intermediating Role of the Education System in the Event of Family Distress"
This paper documents that losing a grandparent shortly before a high-stakes track placement test can have long-lasting effects on child education outcomes. I employ administrative registers from the Netherlands, that allow me to exploit the quasi-random timing of death to causally identify the effect of pre-test grandparental bereavement on educational outcomes. The findings show that grandparental death leads to lower test outcomes, and subsequently a reduced likelihood of attending or graduating from the highest track of secondary education. Although I observe that affected children more often switch to a higher track later-on, the original disadvantage tends to prevail until graduation. Hence, the educational setup does not fully succeed in setting right the initial event of family distress, hampering equality of opportunity.