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ERIC Number: ED530136
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Feb
Pages: 57
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 34
ISBN: ISBN-978-0-8532-8194-8
ISSN: ISSN-2045-6557
A Researcher's Guide to the Swedish Compulsory School Reform. CEE DP 87
Holmlund, Helena
Centre for the Economics of Education (NJ1)
When studying different types of returns to education, educational reforms are commonly used in the economics literature as a source of exogenous variation in education. The Swedish compulsory school reform is one example; the reform extended compulsory education throughout the country, in different municipalities at different points in time. Such variation across cohorts and regions can be used in a differences-in-differences framework, in order to estimate causal effects of education. This paper provides a guide to researchers who consider using the Swedish reform in an empirical analysis: I present a description and background of the reform, provide some baseline results, a reliability analysis of the reform coding, a discussion of whether the reform is a valid instrument, and comment on the interpretation of IV estimates of returns to schooling. The main conclusions are the following: i) a reliability analysis of the reform coding finds a lower bound reliability estimate of 0.66-0.91; ii) the reform indeed raised educational attainment, more so for boys than for girls, and iii) with careful consideration of region-specific trends, the reform can be considered a valid instrument for education. Appended are: (1) Reform coding for register data; and (2) Reliability analysis. (Contains 4 figures, 9 tables and 16 footnotes.) [Part of this research has been financed by the Swedish Council for Working Life and Social Research.]
Centre for the Economics of Education. London School of Economics and Political Science, Houghton Street, London, WC2A 2AE, UK. Tel: +44-20-7955-7673; Fax: +44-20-7955-7595; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Guides - Non-Classroom; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: Researchers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: London School of Economics & Political Science, Centre for the Economics of Education
Identifiers - Location: Sweden