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The Effects of Reducing Tracking in Upper Secondary School: Evidence from a Large-Scale Pilot Scheme

  • Caroline Hall

By exploiting an extensive pilot scheme that preceded an educational reform, this paper evaluates the effects of introducing a more comprehensive upper secondary school system in Sweden. The reform reduced the differences between academic and vocational tracks through prolonging and increasing the academic content of the latter. As a result, all vocational students became eligible for university studies. The results suggest that the policy change increased the amount of upper secondary schooling obtained among vocational students, but did not affect enrollment in university studies or students’ earnings later in life.

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Article provided by University of Wisconsin Press in its journal Journal of Human Resources.

Volume (Year): 47 (2012)
Issue (Month): 1 ()
Pages: 237-269

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Handle: RePEc:uwp:jhriss:v:46:y:2012:i:1:p:237-269
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  1. 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.
  2. Hanushek, Eric A. & Wößmann, Ludger, 2006. "Does educational tracking affect performance and inequality? differences-in-differences evidence across countries," Munich Reprints in Economics 20457, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  3. Daniele Checchi & Giorgio Brunello, 2006. "Does School Tracking Affect Equality of Opportunity? New International Evidence," UNIMI - Research Papers in Economics, Business, and Statistics unimi-1044, Universitá degli Studi di Milano.
  4. Alan Manning & Jörn-Steffen Pischke, 2006. "Comprehensive Versus Selective Schooling in England and Wales: What Do We Know?," CEE Discussion Papers 0066, Centre for the Economics of Education, LSE.
  5. Nordström Skans, Oskar, 2004. "Scarring effects of the first labour market experience: A sibling based analysis," Working Paper Series 2004:14, IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy.
  6. Aakvik, Arild & Salvanes, Kjell G. & Vaage, Kjell, 2010. "Measuring heterogeneity in the returns to education using an education reform," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 54(4), pages 483-500, May.
  7. Lillard, Dean R. & DeCicca, Philip P., 2001. "Higher standards, more dropouts? Evidence within and across time," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 20(5), pages 459-473, October.
  8. 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.
  9. Kenn Ariga & Giorgio Brunello, 2007. "Does Secondary School Tracking Affect Performance? Evidence from IALS," KIER Working Papers 630, Kyoto University, Institute of Economic Research.
  10. C. Kirabo Jackson, 2010. "Do Students Benefit from Attending Better Schools? Evidence from Rule-based Student Assignments in Trinidad and Tobago," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 120(549), pages 1399-1429, December.
  11. Pekkarinen, Tuomas & Uusitalo, Roope & Kerr, Sari, 2009. "School tracking and intergenerational income mobility: Evidence from the Finnish comprehensive school reform," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(7-8), pages 965-973, August.
  12. Fernando Galindo-Rueda & Anna Vignoles, 2005. "The Heterogeneous Effect of Selection in Secondary Schools: Understanding the Changing Role of Ability," CEE Discussion Papers 0052, Centre for the Economics of Education, LSE.
  13. Esther Duflo & Pascaline Dupas & Michael Kremer, 2011. "Peer Effects, Teacher Incentives, and the Impact of Tracking: Evidence from a Randomized Evaluation in Kenya," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(5), pages 1739-74, August.
  14. 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.
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