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

What drives the performance of Swedish lower secondary schools?

This paper presents the econometric analysis of lower secondary school performance carried out for the chapter on education of the 2019 OECD Economic Survey of Sweden. The dataset covers most Swedish schools providing education for 9th graders. Student socio-economic background has a considerable impact on academic results. Policy inputs are also correlated with results, notably in schools with pupils from weaker socio-economic backgrounds, but teacher qualifications and spending per student are endogenous. For-profit private schools underperform compared to non-profit and public schools, albeit with strong heterogeneity between schools. The introduction of an indicator of competition, based on the density of schools, suggests that intensified school competition lowers results in schools with a high share of pupils from weaker socio-economic backgrounds. Schools, and especially those achieving weaker results, have scope to raise their performance by improving their adaptation to student needs.

This Working Paper relates to the 2019 OECD Economic Survey of Sweden



Keywords: stochastic frontier analysis, education, Sweden, efficiency, competition
JEL: C23: Mathematical and Quantitative Methods / Single Equation Models; Single Variables / Single Equation Models; Single Variables: Panel Data Models; Spatio-temporal Models; I21: Health, Education, and Welfare / Education and Research Institutions / Analysis of Education; H75: Public Economics / State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations / State and Local Government: Health; Education; Welfare; Public Pensions; I28: Health, Education, and Welfare / Education and Research Institutions / Education: Government Policy
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