Scandinavian Working Papers in Economics

Working Paper Series,
Stockholm University, Swedish Institute for Social Research

No 2/2020: The Impact of Attending An Independent Upper Secondary School: Evidence from Sweden Using School Ranking Data

Karin Edmark () and Lovisa Persson ()
Additional contact information
Karin Edmark: Swedish Institute for Social Research, Stockholm University, Postal: SOFI, Stockholm University, SE-106 91 Stockholm, Sweden
Lovisa Persson: Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IFN)

Abstract: This paper provides a comprehensive study on how attending a Swedish Independent upper secondary school affects students’ academic and short-term post-secondary outcomes. Beyond having access to population registers that measure school attendance and student outcomes, we are able to control for student preferences for independent provision, as stated in school application forms. The results from a CEM/VAM approach suggest a positive independent school effect on: final GPA, test results in English and Swedish, the likelihood of graduating on time, and attending post secondary education. However, we also find a larger discrepancy between the final grade and the standardized test result among the independent school students, in a way that accords with more lenient grading practices among independent schools. Results from a difference- in difference analysis around admission thresholds yielded no additional insights, due to imprecise estimates.

Keywords: Private provision; mixed markets; voucher school reform; upper secondary education

JEL-codes: H44; I21; I26; I28

103 pages, April 16, 2020

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