Journal Article
Duration of pre-university education and labour market outcomes

Evidence from a quasi-experiment in Ghana

THIS ARTICLE IS ON EARLY VIEW. This study provides new evidence on the effect of shortening the duration of pre‐university education on long‐term labour market outcomes in Ghana, exploiting the education reform of 1987 as a natural experiment.

Our results indicate that the drastic cut in the duration of pre‐tertiary education from 17 to 12 years improved the labour market success of treated cohorts.

However, this is driven by a ‘quantity’ effect: the shorter course duration reduced the direct and indirect costs of acquiring post‐primary education and allowed more students to enrol, which provided access to better job opportunities. On aggregate, this has dominated the negative effect on education ‘quality’. 

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