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Education, Development and Labor Markets – the current situation and possibilities for change

Pressmeddelande   •   Jun 18, 2013 09:06 CEST

In her thesis, Claudia Wolff has analyzed education systems in Europe and Sub-Saharan Africa and labor markets in developing countries. She shows that there is room for improvement and possibilities for change.

The first chapter shows how institutions lead to intergenerational immobility of education in Germany; institutions can be changed. The second chapter shows how schooling quality can be improved in Liberia, and gives important insights for schooling policies in developing countries. The third chapter can help policy makers to predict trends in youth employment which are related to the demographic structure of a country. 

Claudia has contributed to our understanding of the channels of intergenerational immobility of educational outcomes in tracking systems. She has analyzed whether it is a disadvantage to belong to the youngest in a school class and whether such an age disadvantage differs depending on socioeconomic background. She shows that especially children from disadvantaged backgrounds are more likely to attend better secondary schools if they belong to the oldest in their class.

 - Children in the same class differ in nearly one year in age. Relatively older children have an age advantage in their class compared to the children who are born just before the cut-off date for school eligibility. Because of this age advantage they do better at school and that is why they go to better secondary schools, says Claudia Wolff.

Claudia has also shed light on ways to improve reading skills of primary students in developing countries. She has evaluated a primary school intervention implemented by USAID and the World Bank in Liberia that improved teacher training and enhanced their accountability.

 - Many children in developing countries do not learn how to read and write probably in primary school and in my research I find that teachers spend little time on instructing the building blocks of reading like letter sounding, which can be easily changed, says Claudia Wolff.

She has also analyzed how the demographics of a country affect youth employment in developing countries. She shows that in countries with large youth populations, young people work in less productive sectors and in worse jobs.

 - There is more competition since there are more people. In South East Asia for example, 1 million young people enter the labor market each months and need to find a job. Youth often have the only option to work in agriculture or work as unpaid family worker.

For additional information, please contact:
Claudia Wolff, 0704181799, 

Handelshögskolan i Stockholm (Stockholm School of Economics, SSE) är en av de ledande handelshögskolorna i Europa. Handelshögskolan har en stark internationell position med representation i Lettland och Ryssland och erbjuder kandidat, master- och MBA-program, liksom forskarutbildning och executive education. Dessutom bedrivs världsledande forskning inom områden som national-, finansiell- och företagsekonomi. Handelshögskolan är certifierad av EQUIS (European Quality Improvement System), som garanterar att undervisning såväl som forskning håller högsta internationella klass, och är också Sveriges representant i CEMS (The Global Alliance in Management Education).

Stockholm School of Economics . Sveavägen 65 . Box 6501. SE-113 83 Stockholm .  Sweden . Phone +46 8 736 90 00 .

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