Working Paper No. 1371

The Impact of Attending an Independent Upper Secondary School: Evidence from Sweden Using School Ranking Data

Published: November 24, 2020Pages: 124Keywords: Private provision; Mixed markets; Voucher school reform; Upper secondary educationJEL-codes: H44; I21; I26; I28

The Impact of Attending an Independent Upper Secondary School: Evidence from Sweden Using School Ranking Data Karin Edmark and Lovisa Persson


This paper provides a comprehensive study on how attending a Swedish independent upper secondary school, instead of a public school, affects students’ academic and short-term post-secondary outcomes. We apply two estimation methods to data on upper secondary applicants:

  1. A value-added model (VAM), where we, in addition to detailed student background characteristics, also control for student preferences for independent provision, as stated in the application forms.
  2. A regression-discontinuity (RD) estimation around admission cutoffs to independent versus public schools.

As the RD-results are overall too imprecise to provide much guidance, they are presented in an appendix to the paper. The more precisely estimated results using VAM suggest a positive independent school effect on: final GPA, test results in English and Swedish, the likelihood of graduating on time, and attending post-secondary education.

We however also find indications of more lenient grading practices among independent schools, and we cannot rule out that all of the independent school advantage reflects more generous grading standards. Results from a school level analysis reveals that the average independent school impact masks substantial variation. Notably, schools with a higher share of qualified teachers tend to exhibit smaller GPA-gains, but also show signs of adhering to stricter grading standards.

 


Reference:

Edmark, Karin and Lovisa Persson (2020), "The Impact of Attending an Independent Upper Secondary School: Evidence from Sweden Using School Ranking Data". IFN Working Paper No. 1371. Stockholm: Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IFN).

Lovisa Persson

Contact

Ph: +46 8 665 4536
lovisa.persson@ifn.se

Karin Edmark

Contact

Mob: +46 73 399 0592
karin.edmark@sofi.su.se

Interdisciplinary European Studies

The European Union and the Return of the Nation State

9783030350048_200x_the-european-union-and-the-return-of-the-nation-state.jpg

This book explores the complex and ever-changing relationship between the European Union and its member states. The recent surge in tension in this relationship has been prompted by the actions of some member state governments as they question fundamental EU values and principles and refuse to implement common decisions seemingly on the basis of narrowly defined national interests.

About the book

Events

Seminars organized by IFN

 

To present ongoing research informal brown-bag seminars are held on Mondays at 11:30 am. This is an opportunity for IFN researchers to test ideas and results.

Academically oriented seminars are most of the time held on Wednesdays at 10 am. At these events researchers from IFN and other institutions present their research.

In addition, IFN organizes seminars open to the public. Topics for these are derived from the IFN research.

Research Institute of Industrial Economics, Grevgatan 34 - 2 fl, Box 55665, SE-102 15 Stockholm, Sweden | Phone: +46-(0)8-665 45 00 | info@ifn.se