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Educational Reform, Ability, and Family Background

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Author Info

  • Costas Meghir
  • Mårten Palme

Abstract

In this paper we evaluate the impact of a major school reform, that took place in the 1950s in Sweden, on educational attainment and earnings. The reform, which has many common elements with reforms in other European countries including the UK, consisted of increasing compulsor schooling, imposing a national curriculum and abolishing selectionby ability into Academic and non-academic streams at the age of 12 (comprehensive school reform). Our data combines survey data with administrative sources. We find that the reform increased both the educational attainment and the earnings of children whose fathers had just complusory education. However the earnings of those with educated parents declined - possibly because of a dilution of quality at the top end of the education levels. The overall effect of the reform was however positive.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal American Economic Review.

Volume (Year): 95 (2005)
Issue (Month): 1 (March)
Pages: 414-424

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Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:95:y:2005:i:1:p:414-424

Note: DOI: 10.1257/0002828053828671
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References

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  1. Joshua Angrist & Alan Krueger, 1990. "Does Compulsory School Attendance Affect Schooling and Earnings?," Working Papers 653, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
  2. David Card, 2000. "Estimating the Return to Schooling: Progress on Some Persistent Econometric Problems," NBER Working Papers 7769, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Robert A. Margo & T. Aldrich Finegan, 1996. "Compulsory Schooling Legislation and School Attendance in Turn-of-the-Century America: A "Natural Experiment" Approach," NBER Historical Working Papers 0089, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Lorraine Dearden & Javier Ferri & Costas Meghir, 2002. "The Effect Of School Quality On Educational Attainment And Wages," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 84(1), pages 1-20, February.
  5. Harmon, C & Ian Walker, 1995. "Estimates of the economic return to schooling for the UK," IFS Working Papers W95/12, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  6. James J. Heckman, 2000. "Policies to Foster Human Capital," JCPR Working Papers 154, Northwestern University/University of Chicago Joint Center for Poverty Research.
  7. Lang, Kevin & Kropp, David, 1986. "Human Capital versus Sorting: The Effects of Compulsory Attendance Laws," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 101(3), pages 609-24, August.
  8. Alan Krueger, 2002. "Inequality, Too Much of a Good Thing," Working Papers 845, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
  9. Costas Meghir & Mårten Palme, 2003. "Ability, parental background and educational policy: empirical evidence from a social experiment," IFS Working Papers W03/05, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  10. Moulton, Brent R., 1986. "Random group effects and the precision of regression estimates," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 32(3), pages 385-397, August.
  11. Harmon, Colm & Walker, Ian, 1995. "Estimates of the Economic Return to Schooling for the United Kingdom," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(5), pages 1278-86, December.
  12. Ashenfelter, Orley C, 1978. "Estimating the Effect of Training Programs on Earnings," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 60(1), pages 47-57, February.
  13. Card, David, 1999. "The causal effect of education on earnings," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 30, pages 1801-1863 Elsevier.
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Blog mentions

As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
  1. How education reform can fight crime
    by Dylan Matthews in Ezra Klein's Wonkblog on 2012-07-30 10:01:31
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