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How Would One Extra Year of High School Affect Academic Performance in University? Evidence from an Educational Policy Change


  • Harry Krashinsky


This paper uses a unique policy change in Ontario, Canada, to provide direct evidence on how reducing the length of high school would impact student performance in university. After a fiveyear educational program was eliminated from Ontario high schools and replaced with a fouryear program, two graduating cohorts with different amounts of high school education simultaneously entered university. The results demonstrate that students who receive one less year of high school education perform significantly worse than their counterparts in all subjects, even after the age difference between the cohorts is accounted for.

Suggested Citation

  • Harry Krashinsky, 2014. "How Would One Extra Year of High School Affect Academic Performance in University? Evidence from an Educational Policy Change," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 47(1), pages 70-97, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:cje:issued:v:47:y:2014:i:1:p:70-97

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    Cited by:

    1. Krashinsky, Harry, 2009. "How Would One Extra Year of High School Affect Wages? Evidence from a Unique Policy Change," CLSSRN working papers clsrn_admin-2009-29, Vancouver School of Economics, revised 22 Apr 2009.
    2. Huebener, Mathias & Marcus, Jan, 2017. "Compressing instruction time into fewer years of schooling and the impact on student performance," EconStor Open Access Articles, ZBW - German National Library of Economics, pages 1-14.
    3. Meyer, Tobias & Thomsen, Stephan L. & Schneider, Heidrun, 2015. "New Evidence on the Effects of the Shortened School Duration in the German States: An Evaluation of Post-Secondary Education Decisions," IZA Discussion Papers 9507, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    4. Meyer, Tobias & Thomsen, Stephan L., 2012. "How Important is Secondary School Duration for Post-school Education Decisions? Evidence from a Natural Experiment," Hannover Economic Papers (HEP) dp-509, Leibniz Universität Hannover, Wirtschaftswissenschaftliche Fakultät.
    5. Diaz-Serrano, Luis & Pérez, Jessica, 2013. "Impact of Duration of Primary Education on School Outcomes: A Cross-Country Analysis," IZA Discussion Papers 7793, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    6. Hofmann, Sarah & Mühlenweg, Andrea, 2017. "Learning Intensity Effects in Students' Mental and Physical Health - Evidence from a Large Scale Natural Experiment in Germany," Hannover Economic Papers (HEP) dp-622, Leibniz Universität Hannover, Wirtschaftswissenschaftliche Fakultät.
    7. Díaz Serrano, Lluís & Pérez, Jessica Helen, 2013. "Impact of Duration of Primary Education on School Enrollment, Graduation and Drop-outs: A Cross- Country Analysis," Working Papers 2072/220757, Universitat Rovira i Virgili, Department of Economics.
    8. repec:eee:labeco:v:47:y:2017:i:c:p:35-47 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Dörsam, Michael & Lauber, Verena, 2015. "The Effect of a Compressed High School Curriculum on University Performance," Annual Conference 2015 (Muenster): Economic Development - Theory and Policy 140876, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    10. Dahmann, Sarah C., 2017. "How does education improve cognitive skills? Instructional time versus timing of instruction," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(C), pages 35-47.
    11. Stephan L. Thomsen, 2015. "The impacts of shortening secondary school duration," IZA World of Labor, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA), pages 166-166, July.
    12. Bettina Büttner & Stephan L. Thomsen, 2015. "Are We Spending Too Many Years in School? Causal Evidence of the Impact of Shortening Secondary School Duration," German Economic Review, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 16(1), pages 65-86, February.
    13. Meyer, Tobias & Thomsen, Stephan, 2014. "Are 12 Years of Schooling Sufficient for Preparation for Tertiary Education? Evidence from the Reform of Secondary School Duration in Germany," Annual Conference 2014 (Hamburg): Evidence-based Economic Policy 100305, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    14. Morin, Louis-Philippe, 2015. "Cohort size and youth earnings: Evidence from a quasi-experiment," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(C), pages 99-111.
    15. Quis, Johanna Sophie, 2015. "Does higher learning intensity affect student well-being? Evidence from the National Educational Panel Study," BERG Working Paper Series 94, Bamberg University, Bamberg Economic Research Group.
    16. Meyer, Tobias & Thomsen, Stephan, 2015. "New Evidence on the Effects of the Shortened School Duration in the German States - An Evaluation of Post-School Education Decisions," Annual Conference 2015 (Muenster): Economic Development - Theory and Policy 112910, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    17. Jan Marcus & Vaishali Zambre, 2016. "The Effect of Increasing Education Efficiency on University Enrollment: Evidence from Administrative Data and an Unusual Schooling Reform in Germany," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 1613, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • I20 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - General
    • I23 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Higher Education; Research Institutions
    • I28 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Government Policy


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