A1 Journal article (refereed)
Comprehensive School Reform and Labor Market Outcomes over the Lifecycle : Evidence from Finland (2021)

Ollikainen, J.-P. (2021). Comprehensive School Reform and Labor Market Outcomes over the Lifecycle : Evidence from Finland. Labour Economics, 68, Article 101952. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.labeco.2020.101952

JYU authors or editors

Publication details

All authors or editors: Ollikainen, Jani-Petteri

Journal or series: Labour Economics

ISSN: 0927-5371

eISSN: 1879-1034

Publication year: 2021

Volume: 68

Article number: 101952

Publisher: Elsevier BV

Publication country: Netherlands

Publication language: English

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.labeco.2020.101952

Publication open access: Not open

Publication channel open access:

Publication is parallel published (JYX): https://jyx.jyu.fi/handle/123456789/73105


This study focused on the labor market effects of the Finnish comprehensive school reform in 1972–1977 over the lifecycle. The reform increased the age at which students are separated into vocational and general tracks from 11 to 16 as well as updated the curriculum to include more general content instead of vocational. Using longitudinal administrative register data and exploiting the gradual implementation of the reform, I found a negative effect on employment in early career and a positive effect later in the lifecycle. Results for labor earnings are more nuanced and sensitive to different model specifications, but a positive effect was found in the late career. After the reform, the treated were more likely to choose academic secondary education which could mediate the effects on employment. The results were similar for men and women.

Keywords: school reform; comprehensive school; vocational education and training; effects on employment; earned income; course of life

Free keywords: comprehensive school; vocational education; employment; earnings; lifecycle

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Related projects

Ministry reporting: Yes

Reporting Year: 2021

Preliminary JUFO rating: 2

Last updated on 2022-17-06 at 11:43