Education serves many goals and the performance of the educational system may be measured in multitiple ways. Test scores, international rankings, measured effects on health, crime and well being; monetary returns to education, measures of inequality as w ell as the cost effectiveness of the educational system all provide possible measures of success or failure of the educational system. This particular project focuses on one important arena by putting the educational system to the test provided by the lab our market. This project will deal with questions related to the relationship between education, the educational system and the labour market. The studies will be undertaken for different levels in the educational system, from secondary level to college and university, and we will deal with both supply side and demand side questions.
The main questions we ask, are: How important are characteristics of pupils and schools to explain dropouts from upper secondary school? How important was the reform from 1994 to explain the pattern of dropouts? What are the long term consequences for individuals dropping out of secondary school? How do the labour market careers of dropouts in Norway compare with the labour market careers of dropouts in Finland? What is th e relationship between inflow of labour immigrants and investments in education in the receiving country? How are the best students - the superstars - received and evaluated in the labour market? How is it that the Nordic countries can have low wage premi ums for education, and still have high and rising educational attainment?
The main challenge in the analyses is to reveal causal relationship. Among the methods we will use is natural experiment approach. Furthermore, we will use matching methods to cont rol for selection on observables, fixed effect models to control for selection on unobservables, and we will look for instrumental variables that give us exogenous variation in the supply of labour.