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School tracking and development of cognitive skills

Author

Listed:
  • Pekkarinen, Tuomas

    (Helsinki School of Economics)

  • Uusitalo, Roope

    (Government Institute for Economic Research (VATT))

  • Kerr, Sari

    (Charles River Associates)

Abstract

The Finnish comprehensive school reform replaced the old two-track school system with a uniform nine-year comprehensive school and significantly reduced the degree of heterogeneity in the Finnish primary and secondary education. We estimate the effect of this reform on the test scores in the Finnish Army Basic Skills test. The identification strategy relies on a differences-in-differences strategy and exploits the fact that the reform was implemented gradually across the country during a six-year period between 1972 and 1977. We find that the reform had a small positive effect on the verbal test scores but no effect on the mean performance in the arithmetic or logical reasoning tests. Still in all tests the reform improved the scores of students from families where parents had only basic education.

Suggested Citation

  • Pekkarinen, Tuomas & Uusitalo, Roope & Kerr, Sari, 2009. "School tracking and development of cognitive skills," Working Paper Series 2009:6, IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:ifauwp:2009_006
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
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    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Education; school system; tracking; comprehensive school; test scores;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • H52 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Government Expenditures and Education
    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education

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