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Studies in Educational Attainment and Returns to Education

Publiceringsår: 2005
Språk: Engelska
Dokumenttyp: Licentiatavhandling
Förlag: Department of Economics, Lund Universtiy


This licentiate thesis consists of two separate studies on educational attainment and returns to education. The first paper, “Ethnic Segregation and Educational Attainment in Sweden”, studies whether youths brought up in ethnically segregated neighbourhoods differ in educational attainment from youths brought up in more affluent neighbourhoods, after controlling for family characteristics. The ethnically segregated neighbourhoods are to a large extent the areas which the Commission on Metropolitan Areas in Sweden has identified as the most socially disadvantaged areas in Sweden. Our assumption is that the ethnic segregation rate in a neighbourhood is an indicator of the social status of the neighbourhood. Besides an ordered probit model the paper also uses propensity score matching as an alternative method to analyze the issues raised in the paper. Our results indicate that there is an association between educational attainment and growing up in an ethnically segregated neighbourhood. The main objective of the second paper, “Ability and Rates of Return to Schooling - making use of the Swedish Enlistment Battery Test”, is to estimate and compare the return to investments in education for men belonging to different parts of the ability distribution. Our ability measure is the achievement test score from the Swedish Military Enlistment Battery. We find that a higher score on the Swedish Enlistment test is associated with a higher return to schooling. The relationship between the return to schooling and the test score does however seem to be decreasing in the test score. Thus, it is primarily the ability specific return to schooling for the lower test groups that diverts from the average return to schooling.


  • Economics
  • Economic History
  • Educational Attainment
  • Returns to Education
  • Cognitive ability


  • Inga Persson

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