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Educational reform, ability and family background

Meghir, C.; Palme, M.; (2004) Educational reform, ability and family background. (IFS Working Papers W04/10). Institute for Fiscal Studies: London, UK. Green open access

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Abstract

In this paper we evaluate the impact of a major school reform, that took place in the 1950s in Sweden, on educational attainment and earnings. The reform, which has many common elements with reforms in other European countries including the UK, consisted of increasing compulsor schooling, imposing a national curriculum and abolishing selection by ability into Academic and non-academic streams at the age of 12 (comprehensive school reform). Our data combines survey data with administrative sources. We find that the reform increased both the educational attainment and the earnings of children whose fathers had just compulsory education. However the earnings of those with educated parents declined - possibly because of a dilution of quality at the top end of the education levels. The overall effect of the reform was however positive.

Type: Working / discussion paper
Title: Educational reform, ability and family background
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1920/wp.ifs.2004.0410
Language: English
Keywords: JEL classification: H52, I21, I28, J24, J31. Human capital, evaluation of education reform, comprehensive schools, compulsory schooling, earnings, administrative data, differences in differences
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Dept of Economics
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/2895
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