IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/iza/izadps/dp10430.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

The Sooner the Better? Compulsory Schooling Reforms in Sweden

Author

Listed:
  • Fischer, Martin

    (University of Duisburg-Essen)

  • Karlsson, Martin

    (University of Duisburg-Essen)

  • Nilsson, Therese

    (Lund University)

  • Schwarz, Nina

    (University of Duisburg-Essen)

Abstract

This paper evaluates the impact on earnings, pensions, and other labor market outcomes of two parallel educational reforms increasing instructional time in Swedish primary school. The reforms extended the compulsory years of schooling from 6 to 7 years and the annual term length from 34.5/36.5 to 39 weeks per year. Gradually introduced over the 1930-1950 period in more than 2,500 school districts, the extensions generated large exogenous variation in educational attainment at different points in primary school while the overall school system and curricula remained unchanged. The reforms thus constitute an ideal quasi-experimental setting for analyzing the long-run causal impact of compulsory education keeping other school characteristics fixed. With a majority of students receiving only primary schooling, both reforms affected large shares of the population and consequently had large impacts on educational attainment at the compulsory level. We find striking differences in impact between the two reforms, and between males and females. Estimated returns to compulsory schooling are robustly positive only for females, who experience a small increase in early career earnings (~ 2%) when exposed to a 7th year of schooling, and large and persistent increases in earnings (~ 4 – 5%) when exposed to an extended school year. The effects are driven by the extensive margin, in particular increased employment in the public sector.

Suggested Citation

  • Fischer, Martin & Karlsson, Martin & Nilsson, Therese & Schwarz, Nina, 2016. "The Sooner the Better? Compulsory Schooling Reforms in Sweden," IZA Discussion Papers 10430, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp10430
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://ftp.iza.org/dp10430.pdf
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Arnaud Chevalier & Colm Harmon & Vincent O’ Sullivan & Ian Walker, 2013. "The impact of parental income and education on the schooling of their children," IZA Journal of Labor Economics, Springer;Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit GmbH (IZA), vol. 2(1), pages 1-22, December.
    2. Huebener, Mathias & Kuger, Susanne & Marcus, Jan, 2017. "Increased instruction hours and the widening gap in student performance," EconStor Open Access Articles, ZBW - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics, pages 15-34.
    3. Maria A. Cattaneo & Chantal Oggenfuss & Stefan C. Wolter, 2017. "The more, the better? The impact of instructional time on student performance," Education Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 25(5), pages 433-445, September.
    4. Jörn-Steffen Pischke & Till von Wachter, 2008. "Zero Returns to Compulsory Schooling in Germany: Evidence and Interpretation," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 90(3), pages 592-598, August.
    5. Marc Piopiunik, 2014. "Intergenerational Transmission of Education and Mediating Channels: Evidence from a Compulsory Schooling Reform in Germany," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 116(3), pages 878-907, July.
    6. Holmlund, Helena, 2007. "A Researcher's Guide to the Swedish Compulsory School Reform," Working Paper Series 9/2007, Stockholm University, Swedish Institute for Social Research.
    7. Julien Grenet, 2013. "Is Extending Compulsory Schooling Alone Enough to Raise Earnings? Evidence from French and British Compulsory Schooling Laws," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 115(1), pages 176-210, January.
    8. Kalena E. Cortes & Joshua S. Goodman & Takako Nomi, 2015. "Intensive Math Instruction and Educational Attainment: Long-Run Impacts of Double-Dose Algebra," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 50(1), pages 108-158.
    9. Meghir, Costas & Palme, Mårten & Simeonova, Emilia, 2012. "Education, Health and Mortality: Evidence from a Social Experiment," IZA Discussion Papers 6462, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    10. Margherita Fort & Nicole Schneeweis & Rudolf Winter‐Ebmer, 2016. "Is Education Always Reducing Fertility? Evidence from Compulsory Schooling Reforms," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 126(595), pages 1823-1855, September.
    11. Battistin, Erich & Meroni, Elena Claudia, 2016. "Should we increase instruction time in low achieving schools? Evidence from Southern Italy," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 55(C), pages 39-56.
    12. Steven G. Rivkin & Jeffrey C. Schiman, 2015. "Instruction Time, Classroom Quality, and Academic Achievement," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 125(588), pages 425-448, November.
    13. Cygan-Rehm, Kamila & Maeder, Miriam, 2013. "The effect of education on fertility: Evidence from a compulsory schooling reform," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(C), pages 35-48.
    14. Sandberg, Lars G., 1979. "The Case of the Impoverished Sophisticate: Human Capital and Swedish Economic Growth before World War I," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 39(1), pages 225-241, March.
    15. Petter Lundborg & Anton Nilsson & Dan-Olof Rooth, 2014. "Parental Education and Offspring Outcomes: Evidence from the Swedish Compulsory School Reform," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 6(1), pages 253-278, January.
    16. Costas Meghir & Mårten Palme & Emilia Simeonova, 2018. "Education and Mortality: Evidence from a Social Experiment," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 10(2), pages 234-256, April.
    17. Crespo, Laura & López-Noval, Borja & Mira, Pedro, 2014. "Compulsory schooling, education, depression and memory: New evidence from SHARELIFE," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 43(C), pages 36-46.
    18. Joshua D. Angrist & Alan B. Keueger, 1991. "Does Compulsory School Attendance Affect Schooling and Earnings?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 106(4), pages 979-1014.
    19. Giorgio Brunello & Guglielmo Weber & Christoph T. Weiss, 2017. "Books are Forever: Early Life Conditions, Education and Lifetime Earnings in Europe," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 127(600), pages 271-296, March.
    20. Giorgio Brunello & Guglielmo Weber & Christoph T. Weiss, 2017. "Books are Forever: Early Life Conditions, Education and Lifetime Earnings in Europe," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 127(600), pages 271-296, March.
    21. Hübener, Mathias & Kuger, Susanne & Marcus, Jan, 2016. "Increased Instruction Hours and the Widening Gap in Student Performance," VfS Annual Conference 2016 (Augsburg): Demographic Change 145611, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    22. Agüero, Jorge M. & Beleche, Trinidad, 2013. "Test-Mex: Estimating the effects of school year length on student performance in Mexico," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 103(C), pages 353-361.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Cattan, Sarah & Kamhöfer, Daniel A. & Karlsson, Martin & Nilsson, Therese, 2017. "The Short- and Long-Term Effects of Student Absence: Evidence from Sweden," IZA Discussion Papers 10995, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    2. Jacek Liwiński, 2020. "The Impact of Compulsory Schooling on Hourly Wage: Evidence From the 1999 Education Reform in Poland," Evaluation Review, , vol. 44(5-6), pages 437-470, October.
    3. Hofmann, Sarah & Mühlenweg, Andrea, 2018. "Learning intensity effects in students’ mental and physical health – Evidence from a large scale natural experiment in Germany," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 67(C), pages 216-234.
    4. Serratos-Sotelo, Luis & Bengtsson, Tommy & Nilsson, Anton, 2019. "The long-term economic effects of polio: Evidence from the introduction of the polio vaccine to Sweden in 1957," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 35(C), pages 32-41.
    5. Titus J. Galama & Adriana Lleras-Muney & Hans van Kippersluis, 2018. "The Effect of Education on Health and Mortality: A Review of Experimental and Quasi-Experimental Evidence," NBER Working Papers 24225, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Hofmarcher, Thomas, 2019. "The Effect of Education on Poverty: A European Perspective," Working Papers 2019:9, Lund University, Department of Economics.

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Martin Fischer & Martin Karlsson & Therese Nilsson & Nina Schwarz, 2020. "The Long-Term Effects of Long Terms – Compulsory Schooling Reforms in Sweden," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 18(6), pages 2776-2823.
    2. Albarrán, Pedro & Hidalgo-Hidalgo, Marisa & Iturbe-Ormaetxe, Iñigo, 2020. "Education and adult health: Is there a causal effect?," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 249(C).
    3. Huebener, Mathias & Kuger, Susanne & Marcus, Jan, 2017. "Increased instruction hours and the widening gap in student performance," EconStor Open Access Articles, ZBW - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics, pages 15-34.
    4. Mathias Huebener, 2017. "Intergenerational Effects of Education on Risky Health Behaviours and Long-Term Health," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 1709, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
    5. Kamila Cygan-Rehm, 2018. "Is Additional Schooling Worthless? Revising Zero Returns to Compulsory Schooling in Germany," CESifo Working Paper Series 7191, CESifo.
    6. Hofmarcher, Thomas, 2019. "The Effect of Education on Poverty: A European Perspective," Working Papers 2019:9, Lund University, Department of Economics.
    7. Pedro Albarran Pérez & Marisa Hidalgo Hidalgo & Iñigo Iturbe-Ormaetxe Kortajarene, 2017. "Schooling and adult health: Can education overcome bad early-life conditions?," Working Papers. Serie AD 2017-09, Instituto Valenciano de Investigaciones Económicas, S.A. (Ivie).
    8. Everding, Jakob, 2019. "Heterogeneous spillover effects of children's education on parental mental health," hche Research Papers 2019/18, University of Hamburg, Hamburg Center for Health Economics (hche).
    9. Huebener, Mathias & Marcus, Jan, 2017. "Compressing instruction time into fewer years of schooling and the impact on student performance," EconStor Open Access Articles, ZBW - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics, pages 1-14.
    10. Barrios-Fernández, Andrés & Bovini, Giulia, 2021. "It’s time to learn: School institutions and returns to instruction time," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 80(C).
    11. Thompson, Paul N., 2021. "Is four less than five? Effects of four-day school weeks on student achievement in Oregon," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 193(C).
    12. Giorgio Brunello & Margherita Fort & Nicole Schneeweis & Rudolf Winter‐Ebmer, 2016. "The Causal Effect of Education on Health: What is the Role of Health Behaviors?," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 25(3), pages 314-336, March.
    13. Barrios Fernandez, Andrés & Bovini, Giulia, 2017. "It’s time to learn: understanding the differences in returns to instruction time," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 86618, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    14. Josefine Koebe & Jan Marcus, 2020. "The Impact of the Length of Schooling on the Timing of Family Formation," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 1896, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
    15. Ismael Sanz & J .D. Tenaa, 2020. "A Natural Experiment on the Effect of Instruction Time and Quality: Lessons for the Covid-19 Outbreak," Working Papers 202032, University of Liverpool, Department of Economics.
    16. Avendano, M.; de Coulon, A.; Nafilyan, V.;, 2017. "Does more education always improve mental health? Evidence from a British compulsory schooling reform," Health, Econometrics and Data Group (HEDG) Working Papers 17/10, HEDG, c/o Department of Economics, University of York.
    17. Martin Fischer & Ulf-Göram Gerdtham, & Gawain Heckley & Martin Karlsson & Gustav Kjellsson & Therese Nilsson, 2019. "Education and Health: Long-run Effects of Peers, Tracking and Years," CINCH Working Paper Series 1906, Universitaet Duisburg-Essen, Competent in Competition and Health.
    18. Hamad, Rita & Elser, Holly & Tran, Duy C. & Rehkopf, David H. & Goodman, Steven N., 2018. "How and why studies disagree about the effects of education on health: A systematic review and meta-analysis of studies of compulsory schooling laws," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 212(C), pages 168-178.
    19. Vincenzo Andrietti & Xuejuan Su, 2019. "The Impact of Schooling Intensity on Student Learning: Evidence from a Quasi-Experiment," Education Finance and Policy, MIT Press, vol. 14(4), pages 679-701, Fall.
    20. Meng, Xin & Zhao, Guochang, 2016. "The Long Shadow of the Chinese Cultural Revolution: The Intergenerational Transmission of Education," IZA Discussion Papers 10460, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).

    More about this item

    Keywords

    term length; compulsory schooling; educational reforms; returns to education;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
    • I28 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Government Policy

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp10430. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: . General contact details of provider: http://www.iza.org .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Holger Hinte (email available below). General contact details of provider: http://www.iza.org .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.