The quality of school education is analysed empirically. School education should foster cognitive development and knowledge accumulation and enable continuation into higher education and successful labour market career. The educational system also determines educational (in)equality and equal access to education. Four sub-projects deal with different aspects of efficiency and equity, using large student and teacher data sets from the UK and Sweden.
First, the optimal allocation of resources to different educational levels (pre-, primary and secondary schooling) is analysed. A large amount of research has examined the effects of school resources on educational achievement. The combined effect of different resource allocations to primary and secondary schooling, however, has not previously been analysed.
Second, the effects of school choice and school competition on student achievement are investigated. The comprehensive reforms in 1991/92 and 2001 in Sweden provide an opportunity to analyse choice and competition between public schools and their effects.
Third, the optimal grouping of students into classes is investigated. Ability tracking can lead to more homogenous classes in terms of ability. New pedagogical forms such as age-integrated classes, on the other hand, lead to more heterogeneous classes with respect to age. The optimal class allocation will be estimated.
Fourth, the labour market for teachers is examined. The introduction of more market elements into the Swedish teacher market after the decentralisation reform and their consequences are analysed, e.g. with respect to teacher shortages, wage differentials and entry and exit from teaching.
A fifth sub-project is devoted to microeconometric methodology and supplies the estimators for the previous sub-projects. Nonparametric treatment evaluation techniques, e.g. propensity score matching, are applied. New nonparametric methods for sequential and continuous treatments are developed.
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