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Graded children – evidence of longrun consequences of school grades from a nationwide reform


  • Sjögren, Anna

    () (IFAU - Institute for Labour Market Policy Evaluation)


Swedish elementary school children stopped receiving written end of year report cards following a grading reform in 1982. Gradual implementation of the reform creates an opportunity to investigate the effects of being graded on adult educational attainments and earnings for children in the cohorts born 1954–1974, using a differ-ence-in-differences strategy. Accounting for municipal time trends and tracing out reform dynamics, there is some evidence that being graded increases girls’ years of schooling, but has no significant average effect on boys. Analysis of effects by fam-ily background suggests that getting grades increases the probability of high school graduation for boys and girls with compulsory school educated parents. Sons of uni-versity graduates, however, earn less and are less likely to get a university degree if they were graded in elementary school.

Suggested Citation

  • Sjögren, Anna, 2010. "Graded children – evidence of longrun consequences of school grades from a nationwide reform," Working Paper Series 2010:7, IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:ifauwp:2010_007

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Jalava, Nina & Joensen, Juanna Schrøter & Pellas, Elin, 2015. "Grades and rank: Impacts of non-financial incentives on test performance," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 115(C), pages 161-196.

    More about this item


    school policy; grades; educational attainment; adult earnings; family background; difference-in-differences;

    JEL classification:

    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education
    • I28 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Government Policy
    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity

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