Scandinavian Working Papers in Economics

Working Paper Series,
Research Institute of Industrial Economics

No 1408: Test Scores and Economic Growth: Update and Extension

Gabriel Heller-Sahlgren () and Henrik Jordahl ()
Additional contact information
Gabriel Heller-Sahlgren: Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IFN), Postal: and London School of Economics
Henrik Jordahl: Örebro University School of Business, Postal: and Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IFN), Stockholm, Sweden,

Abstract: Research indicates that education quality – measured by test scores in international student surveys – predicts economic growth. In this paper, we extend previous findings up to 2016 and analyse test scores of upper-secondary school students only. We find that the positive relationship between growth and test scores holds in both cases. The share of top-performing students exhibits a stronger correlation with economic growth than does the share of students who meet basic requirements.

Keywords: Education; Economic growth; PISA; TIMSS; Top-performing students

JEL-codes: I25; O15; O57

Language: English

6 pages, October 1, 2021

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