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Does more general education reduce the risk of future unemployment? Evidence from labor market experiences during the Great Recession

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  • Hall, Caroline

    ()
    (IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy)

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.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy in its series Working Paper Series with number 2013:17.

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Length: 46 pages
Date of creation: 31 Jul 2013
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:hhs:ifauwp:2013_017

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Postal: IFAU, P O Box 513, SE-751 20 Uppsala, Sweden
Phone: (+46) 18 - 471 70 70
Fax: (+46) 18 - 471 70 71
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Web page: http://www.ifau.se/
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Keywords: vocational education; upper secondary school curriculum; unemployment;

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References

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  1. Wößmann, Ludger & Hanushek, Eric A. & Zhang, Lei, 2012. "General Education, Vocational Education, and Labor-Market Outcomes over the Life-Cycle," Annual Conference 2012 (Goettingen): New Approaches and Challenges for the Labor Market of the 21st Century 62070, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
  2. Grönqvist, Hans & Hall, Caroline, 2011. "Education policy and early fertility: lessons from an expansion of upper secondary schooling," Working Paper Series 2011:24, IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy.
  3. Claudia Goldin, 2001. "The Human Capital Century and American Leadership: Virtues of the Past," NBER Working Papers 8239, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Paul Ryan, 2001. "The School-to-Work Transition: A Cross-National Perspective: Corrigendum," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 39(3), pages 767-767, September.
  5. Joseph G. Altonji, 1992. "The Effects of High School Curriculum on Education and Labor Market Outcomes," NBER Working Papers 4142, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Levine, Phillip B & Zimmerman, David J, 1995. "The Benefit of Additional High-School Math and Science Classes for Young Men and Women," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 13(2), pages 137-49, April.
  7. Oosterbeek, Hessel & Webbink, Dinand, 2007. "Wage effects of an extra year of basic vocational education," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 26(4), pages 408-419, August.
  8. Esther Duflo, 2000. "Schooling and Labor Market Consequences of School Construction in Indonesia: Evidence from an Unusual Policy Experiment," NBER Working Papers 7860, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Josef Fersterer & Jörn-Steffen Pischke & Rudolf Winter-Ebmer, 2007. "Returns to Apprenticeship Training in Austria: Evidence from Failed Firms," NBER Working Papers 13344, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Thomas S. Dee & Brian A. Jacob, 2006. "Do High School Exit Exams Influence Educational Attainment or Labor Market Performance?," NBER Working Papers 12199, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Kang, Suk & Bishop, John, 1989. "Vocational and academic education in high school: Complements or substitutes?," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 8(2), pages 133-148, April.
  12. Douglas Staiger & James H. Stock, 1997. "Instrumental Variables Regression with Weak Instruments," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 65(3), pages 557-586, May.
  13. Ofer Malamud & Cristian Pop-Eleches, 2010. "General Education versus Vocational Training: Evidence from an Economy in Transition," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 92(1), pages 43-60, February.
  14. Bishop, John H. & Mane, Ferran, 2001. "The impacts of minimum competency exam graduation requirements on high school graduation, college attendance and early labor market success," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 8(2), pages 203-222, May.
  15. Kahn, Lisa B., 2010. "The long-term labor market consequences of graduating from college in a bad economy," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(2), pages 303-316, April.
  16. Mane, F., 1998. "Trends in the Payoff to Academic and Occupation-Specific Skills: The Short and Midium Run Returns to Academic and Vocational High School Courses for Non-College Bound Students," Papers 98-07, Cornell - Center for Advanced Human Resource Studies.
  17. Stenberg, Anders, 2009. "Upgrading the Low Skilled: Is Public Provision of Formal Education a Sensible Policy?," Working Paper Series 1/2009, Swedish Institute for Social Research.
  18. Caroline Hall, 2012. "The Effects of Reducing Tracking in Upper Secondary School: Evidence from a Large-Scale Pilot Scheme," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 47(1), pages 237-269.
  19. Paul Ryan, 2001. "The School-to-Work Transition: A Cross-National Perspective," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 39(1), pages 34-92, March.
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