How has Sweden´s recent education reforms affected the labor market for teachers and the youth labor market entry?

Time period: 2017-12-01 to 2020-11-30

Project leader: Lena Hensvik

Funder: Forte

Type of award: Unclassified

Total fundning: 2 500 000 SEK

The labor market in Sweden works well for the vast majority, but young people with weak study results, in particular those who lack a high school diploma, face major difficulties in establishing themselves in the labor market. The association between education and labor market outcomes may partly reflect other factors. Still however, it suggests that it is important to understand how the construction of the education system affects educational attainment and the entry into the labor market. The project aims at enhancing our understanding about how some of the most comprehensive Swedish education reforms in the 2010s have influenced the situation for young labor market entrants and for teachers. The overall project can be divided into two parts. The first part focuses on how the 2011´s upper secondary school reform (Gy 2011) has affected young people´s chances in school and in the labor market. The reform changed the upper secondary school system in several dimensions, for example by raising the entry and exit requirements and by making it more difficult for vocational track students to become eligible for higher education. The second part studies how the introduction of a new career step for particularly skilled teachers has affected student attainment. The aim of this reform was to attract and maintain high-quality teachers in the profession - as well as to motivate teachers to increase the quality of teaching. As an important part of the analysis, effects on the teachers´ labor market will also be studied. The project will answer several novel research questions and add substantial value to the international research agenda by using rich administrative data on teachers and students. The unique market for teachers and students in Sweden makes it a very interesting case to study. The results will be disseminated to a broader audience through scientific and popular science articles and through participation in national and international conferences.