OECD Economics Department Working Papers

Working papers from the Economics Department of the OECD that cover the full range of the Department’s work including the economic situation, policy analysis and projections; fiscal policy, public expenditure and taxation; and structural issues including ageing, growth and productivity, migration, environment, human capital, housing, trade and investment, labour markets, regulatory reform, competition, health, and other issues.

The views expressed in these papers are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect those of the OECD or of the governments of its member countries.

English, French

Educational outcomes: A literature review of policy drivers from a macroeconomic perspective

This paper reviews recent empirical literature on policy drivers of two educational outcomes - years of schooling and rates of return - that form the OECD’s aggregate measure of human capital. The paper sets the literature findings into the context of current educational polices in place in OECD countries. While much of the empirical results are mixed, depend on country and time coverage as well as estimation methods, the review identifies the following policies most likely to promote better educational outcomes: quality pre-primary education, quality teaching, accountability and autonomy of teaching institutions, comprehensive lower secondary education and availability of individual financing for the pursuit of higher education.


Keywords: OECD, secondary school, education attainment, teacher, early childhood education, higher education, primary school, education quality, education
JEL: E24: Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics / Consumption, Saving, Production, Investment, Labor Markets, and Informal Economy / Employment; Unemployment; Wages; Intergenerational Income Distribution; Aggregate Human Capital; Aggregate Labor Productivity; J24: Labor and Demographic Economics / Demand and Supply of Labor / Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity; I25: Health, Education, and Welfare / Education and Research Institutions / Education and Economic Development; I26: Health, Education, and Welfare / Education and Research Institutions / Returns to Education; I20: Health, Education, and Welfare / Education and Research Institutions / Education and Research Institutions: General; I28: Health, Education, and Welfare / Education and Research Institutions / Education: Government Policy
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