Centre for Economic Demography

Lund University School of Economics and Management

New study in JEEA by CED researchers

Published: 2020-08-19

Longer terms in primary school led to higher income and better jobs

Martin Fischer, Martin Karlsson, Therese Nilsson and Nina Schwarz evalute the effects of two parallel school reforms, where one extended school terms and the other added a mandatory school year at the end of schooling. To study the causal effect of more instruction time, the authors use a unique historical data material collected from municipal archives linked with later life labour market outcomes. The study shows that longer terms have significantly larger effects on income and pensions than an added school year at the end of schooling. The results are driven almost exclusively by women. The school term extension also resulted in women increasing their workforce participation and to a greater extent getting qualified jobs that required precisely the basic reading, writing, and arithmetics skills taught in primary school. The positive effects can be traced to term extensions implemented during the first four years of primary school, a result in line with previous research, showing the importance of early interventions to create equal opportunities in life.

Link to article in JEEA (journal of European Economic Association):