A1 Journal article (refereed)
A tale of two trade-offs : Effects of opening pathways from vocational to higher education (2021)

Ollikainen, J.-P., & Karhunen, H. (2021). A tale of two trade-offs : Effects of opening pathways from vocational to higher education. Economics Letters, 205, Article 109945. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.econlet.2021.109945

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Publication details

All authors or editors: Ollikainen, Jani-Petteri; Karhunen, Hannu

Journal or series: Economics Letters

ISSN: 0165-1765

eISSN: 1873-7374

Publication year: 2021

Volume: 205

Article number: 109945

Publisher: Elsevier BV

Publication country: Netherlands

Publication language: English

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.econlet.2021.109945

Publication open access: Not open

Publication channel open access:

Publication is parallel published (JYX): https://jyx.jyu.fi/handle/123456789/82894


This paper studies the effects of a vocational secondary school reform implemented in Finland between 1999 and 2001. The reform extended vocational two-year programs to three years and made all graduates eligible to apply for university. For identification, we exploit the gradual implementation of the reform, and use a differences-in-differences approach and administrative register data up to 13 years after the reform. We find no long-term effect on enrollment in further education or labor market outcomes. However, our results illustrate that the reform increased the dropout probability. Thus, the benefits of opening pathways from vocational to higher education may be outweighed by the cost of a more demanding curriculum.

Keywords: reforms; education and training; vocational education and training; postgraduate studying; extension; effects (results); stoppage; dropping out; costs

Free keywords: vocational education; reform; dropout; difference-in-differences

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Ministry reporting: Yes

Reporting Year: 2021

JUFO rating: 1

Last updated on 2022-31-08 at 09:44