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The Effect of Schooling on Cognitive Skills

Author

Listed:
  • Magnus Carlsson

    (Linnaeus University)

  • Gordon B. Dahl

    (UC San Diego)

  • Björn Öckert

    (Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy and Uppsala University)

  • Dan-Olof Rooth

    (Linnaeus University)

Abstract

To identify the causal effect of schooling on cognitive skills, we exploit conditionally random variation in the date Swedish males take a battery of cognitive tests in preparation for military service. We find an extra ten days of school instruction raises scores on crystallized intelligence tests (synonyms and technical comprehension tests) by approximately 1 percent of a standard deviation, whereas extra nonschool days have almost no effect. In contrast, test scores on fluid intelligence tests (spatial and logic tests) do not increase with additional days of schooling but do increase modestly with age.

Suggested Citation

  • Magnus Carlsson & Gordon B. Dahl & Björn Öckert & Dan-Olof Rooth, 2015. "The Effect of Schooling on Cognitive Skills," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 97(3), pages 533-547, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:tpr:restat:v:97:y:2015:i:2:p:533-547
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    cognitive skills; Sweden; military service; crystallized intelligence tests;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education
    • L30 - Industrial Organization - - Nonprofit Organizations and Public Enterprise - - - General

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