Scandinavian Working Papers in Economics

Working Paper Series,
Research Institute of Industrial Economics

No 1223: The Long-term Effects of Long Terms: Compulsory Schooling Reforms in Sweden

Martin Fischer (), Martin Karlsson (), Therese Nilsson () and Nina Schwarz ()
Additional contact information
Martin Fischer: University of Duisburg-Essen, Essen
Martin Karlsson: University of Duisburg-Essen, Essen
Therese Nilsson: Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IFN), Postal: Research Institute of Industrial Economics, Box 55665, SE-102 15 Stockholm, Sweden
Nina Schwarz: University of Duisburg-Essen, Essen

Abstract: We evaluate the impact on earnings, pensions, and further labor market outcomes of two parallel educational reforms increasing instructional time in Swedish primary school. The reforms extended the annual term length and compulsory schooling by comparable amounts. We find striking differences in the effects of the two reforms: at 5%, the returns to the term length extension were at least half as high as OLS returns to education and bene ted broad ranges of the population. The compulsory schooling extension had small (2%) albeit significant effects, which were possibly driven by an increase in post-compulsory schooling. Both reforms led to increased sorting into occupations with heavy reliance on basic skills.

Keywords: Educational reforms; Compulsory schooling; Term length; Returns to Education

JEL-codes: I28; J24; J31

69 pages, June 25, 2018

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