Sweden's School Choice Reform and Equality of Opportunity

Reprint No. 2014:57

Author(s): Karin Edmark, Markus Frölich and Verena WondratschekYear: 2014 Title: Labour Economics Volume (No.): 30 (October) Pages: 129–142
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Preliminary version

This study analyses whether the Swedish school choice reform, enacted in 1992, had differential effects for 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 indicate that students from a socio-economically disadvantaged or immigrant background did not benefit less from more school choice than those from more advantaged backgrounds. If anything, students from low-income families benefited slightly more than those from higher-income families. However, the differences between groups of students are very small, as are the overall effects of the reform.

Edmark, Karin, Markus Frölich and Verena Wondratschek (2014), "Sweden's School Choice Reform and Equality of Opportunity". Labour Economics 30(October), 129–142.

Karin Edmark


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