Working Paper No. 1223

The Long-term Effects of Long Terms: Compulsory Schooling Reforms in Sweden

Published: June 25, 2018Pages: 69Keywords: Educational reforms; Compulsory schooling; Term length; Returns to EducationJEL-codes: J24; J31; I28

The Long-term Effects of Long Terms: Compulsory Schooling Reforms in Sweden Martin Fischer, Martin Karlsson, Therese Nilsson and Nina Schwarz


We evaluate the impact on earnings, pensions, and further labor market outcomes of two parallel educational reforms increasing instructional time in Swedish primary school. The reforms extended the annual term length and compulsory schooling by comparable amounts. We find striking differences in the effects of the two reforms: at 5%, the returns to the term length extension were at least half as high as OLS returns to education and bene ted broad ranges of the population. The compulsory schooling extension had small (2%) albeit significant effects, which were possibly driven by an increase in post-compulsory schooling. Both reforms led to increased sorting into occupations with heavy reliance on basic skills.

Therese Nilsson

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Interdisciplinary European Studies

The European Union in a Changing World Order

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This book explores how the European Union responds to the ongoing challenges to the liberal international order. These challenges arise both within the EU itself and beyond its borders, and put into question the values of free trade and liberal democracy. 

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