The main research question of this paper is the combined estimation of the effects of educational systems, school-composition and track-level on the educational achievement of 15-years-old students. We specifically focus on the effects of socioeconomic and ethnic background on achievement scores and to what extent these effects are affected by characteristics of the school, track or educational system these students are in. In doing so, we examine the ‘sorting’ mechanisms of schools and tracks in highly stratified, moderately stratified and comprehensive education systems. We use data from the 2006 PISA (Programme for International Student Assessment) wave. Compared to previous research in this area the main contribution of this paper is that we explicitly include track-level and school-level as separate units of analyses, which leads to less biased results of the effects of characteristics of the educational system. The results highlight the importance of including track-level and school-level factors in the debate of educational inequality of opportunity for students in different education contexts. The findings clearly indicate that the effects of educational system characteristics are flawed if the analysis uses only a country and a student level and ignores the track- and school-level characteristics. Moreover the inclusion of the track-level is necessary to avoid overestimation of the school-composition effect, especially in stratified educational systems. From a policy perspective, the most important finding is that educational system are not uniformly ‘good’ or ‘bad’, but they have different consequences for different groups. Some groups are better off in comprehensive systems, while other groups are better off in moderately or highly stratified systems.
Retrenched pension rights affect motivated workers: Organisations within the public sector do not stimulate the continued labor force participation of their older workers. Older workers with retrenched pension rights due to a shock in the Dutch pension system receive less cognitive demanding tasks instead of that they are stimulated to remain active. This leads to that most older workers are dissatisfied with the HR-policy of their employer. Moreover, this study shows that the workers with retrenched pension rights make significantly less unpaid over hours. This especially holds for workers who are highly engaged to their job.
In order to increase the participation in lifelong learning, the Dutch Denktank Leren en Werken has proposed to launch a training voucher. This report – commissioned by the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Social Affairs and Employment – discusses various national and international training voucher pilot projects. From this inventory study as well as interviews with experts, we propose how a ‘development voucher’ system could be organized and introduced in the Netherlands. A good first step would be to introduce the voucher for low skilled workers in sectors where employment is falling.
Workers’ human capital is a crucial asset in a knowledge economy. However, a person’s human capital can depreciate fast, e.g. when skills are not used or underused, or when innovations in the production process result in demand for new skills. This report – commissioned by the Ministry of Economic Affairs, Agriculture and Innovation – deals with the evolution of a person’s human capital during the life course. The effect of unemployment and inactivity because of caring obligations receives particular attention.