Industrial Relations Section
Louis A. Simpson International Bldg.
Princeton, NJ 08544
Institutional Affiliation: Princeton University
NBER Working Papers and Publications
|March 2019||Improving Educational Pathways to Social Mobility: Evidence from Norway’s “Reform 94”|
with Marianne Bertrand, Magne Mogstad: w25679
High school vocational education has a controversial history in the United States, largely due to a perceived tradeoff between teaching readily deployable occupational skills versus shunting mostly disadvantaged students away from the educational and career flexibility afforded by general academic courses. We study the effects of a nationwide high school reform in Norway that aimed to move beyond this tradeoff. Reform 94, implemented in one step in the fall of 1994, integrated more general education into the vocational track, offered vocational students a pathway to college through a supplementary semester of academic courses, and sought to improve the quality of the vocational track through greater access to apprenticeships. We identify the impacts of the reform through a difference-in-di...