Working Paper Series
IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy
Does more general education reduce the risk of future unemployment? Evidence from labor market experiences during the Great Recession
Abstract: This paper investigates whether more general education
reduces the risk of future unemployment by examining individuals’ labor
market experiences during the “Great Recession” (2008–2010). To estimate
the causal impact of differences in educational content, I exploit a reform
in Sweden in the 1990s which prolonged vocational programs in upper
secondary school and gave them a considerably larger general content. The
research design takes advantage of variation across regions and over time
in the implementation of a large-scale pilot which preceded the reform. I
find no evidence that having attended a longer and more general program
reduced the risk of experiencing unemployment during the 2008–2010
recession. Among students with low GPAs from compulsory school, attending a
pilot program seems instead to have led to an increased risk of
unemployment. This pattern is strongest among male students and the effect
is likely to be explained by the increased dropout rate which resulted from
the change of the programs.
Keywords: vocational education; upper secondary school curriculum; unemployment; (follow links to similar papers)
JEL-Codes: I21; I28; (follow links to similar papers)
46 pages, July 31, 2013
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- This paper is forthcoming as:
Hall, Caroline, 'Does more general education reduce the risk of future unemployment? Evidence from labor market experiences during the Great Recession', Economics of Education Review.
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