Henrik Jordahl on Swedish education and its privatization

Not long ago I linked to an article suggesting there were some burgeoning problems with the Swedish educational privatization model.  Henrik wrote me this email:

Dan, Tyler and others!

As the article claims there are really serious problems in Swedish schools – and it does not help that the minister of education from the liberal party does not seem to understand or be willing to admit what is going on.

Importantly, there is no evidence of the private (so called independent) schools or of the introduction of school choice contributing to worse performance. The two most relevant studies establishing this are:

1. Böhlmark, Anders & Lindahl, Mikael, 2013. “Independent Schools and Long-Run Educational Outcomes Evidence from Sweden´s Large Scale Voucher Reform,” Working Paper Series 6/2013, Swedish Institute for Social Research.
http://su.diva-portal.org/smash/get/diva2:675521/FULLTEXT01.pdf  Finds that an increase in the share of independent-school students improves average performance at the end of compulsory school as well as long-run educational outcomes. Also finds that international test results (TIMSS) deteriorated less in Swedish regions with a higher proportion of independent school students.

2. Wondratschek, Verena, Karin Edmark and Markus Frölich (2013). “The Short- and Long-term Effects of School Choice on Student Outcomes – Evidence from a School Choice Reform in Sweden”, IFN Working Paper No. 981. Forthcoming in Annals of Economics and Statistics. http://www.ifn.se/eng/publications/wp/2013/981 . Finds that  increased school choice had very small, but positive, effects on marks at the end of compulsory schooling, but virtually zero effects on longer term outcomes.

Hope this is useful and not too late.


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