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Sweden’s school choice reform and equality of opportunity

Author

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  • Edmark, Karin

    (Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IFN))

  • Frölich, Markus

    (University of Mannheim)

  • Wondratschek, Verena

    (Centre for European Economic Research (ZEW))

Abstract

This study analyses whether the Swedish school choice reform, enacted in 1992, had different effects on students from different socio-economic backgrounds. We use detailed geographical data on students’ and schools’ locations to construct measures of the degree of potential choice. This allows us to study the effects of choice opportunities among public schools, whereas previous studies have focused on newly opened private schools. Our results suggest small positive or no effects of choice opportunities, depending on specification and outcome. We find no strong evidence of differences between subgroups; if anything, effects tend to be slightly more positive for disadvantaged groups, such as students from low-income families. Taken together, the results indicate that students from a socio-economically disadvantaged or immigrant background were not harmed by the reform.

Suggested Citation

  • Edmark, Karin & Frölich, Markus & Wondratschek, Verena, 2014. "Sweden’s school choice reform and equality of opportunity," Working Paper Series 2014:16, IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:ifauwp:2014_016
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    Cited by:

    1. Böhlmark, Anders & Holmlund, Helena & Lindahl, Mikael, 2015. "School choice and segregation: evidence from Sweden," Working Paper Series 2015:8, IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy.
    2. Sebhatu, Abiel & Wennberg, Karl & Lakomaa, Erik & Brandén, Maria, 2020. "Work Environment and Competition in Swedish Schools, 1999-2011," Ratio Working Papers 330, The Ratio Institute.
    3. Anders Böhlmark & Helena Holmlund & Mikael Lindahl, 2016. "Parental choice, neighbourhood segregation or cream skimming? An analysis of school segregation after a generalized choice reform," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 29(4), pages 1155-1190, October.
    4. Bonin, Holger, 2017. "The Potential Economic Benefits of Education of Migrants in the EU," IZA Research Reports 75, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    5. Willén, Alexander, 2021. "Decentralization of wage determination: Evidence from a national teacher reform," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 198(C).
    6. Rebecca Diamond & Petra Persson, 2016. "The Long-term Consequences of Teacher Discretion in Grading of High-stakes Tests," NBER Working Papers 22207, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Sebhatu, Abiel & Wennberg, Karl & Lakomaa, Erik & Brandén, Maria, 2021. "More Schools, Less Trouble? Competition and Schools’ Work Environment, Sweden 1999–2011," Working Papers 21/1, Stockholm School of Economics, Center for Educational Leadership and Excellence.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    School choice; school competition; treatment evaluation; cognitive and non-cognitive skills;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C21 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Cross-Sectional Models; Spatial Models; Treatment Effect Models
    • I24 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Education and Inequality

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