The education revolution on horseback II: Using the Napoleonic Wars to elicit the effect of tracking on student performance

Roxanne Korthals

Research output: Working paper / PreprintWorking paper

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Previous literature has found inconsistent effects of tracking students in secondary school on student performance using various ways to alleviate the endogeneity in
tracking. Sociological literature argues that the threat for war with and invasion by the French around the 1800s induced European countries to introduce mass public education
systems. I use this theory to estimate the effect of tracking on student performance in Europe, instrumenting tracking by the political pressure caused by the Napoleonic Wars.
The relation between political pressure by Napoleon and tracking is strong and leads in the second stage to a consistent positive effect of tracking on student performance.
One important limitation of this analysis is that it is reasonable to assume that political pressure from Napoleon influenced many facets of European countries.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationMaastricht
Number of pages35
Publication statusPublished - 2016

Publication series

SeriesROA Research Memoranda

JEL classifications

  • i20 - Education and Research Institutions: General


  • tracking
  • educational policy
  • PISA

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