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Working Paper No. 330: Work Environment and Competition in Swedish Schools, 1999-2011

PublicationWorking paper
Abiel Sebhatu, Erik Lakomaa, independent schools, Karl Wennberg, Maria Brandén, public schools, School competition, voucher, work environment
Working Paper No 330
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Abstract

Research on schools’ work environment highlights socioeconomic conditions (SES) as primary drivers of work environment, but evidence to date is primarily limited to cross-sectional samples. Research on school competition has revealed important effects on educational outcomes, but effects on work environment are largely unknown. We bridge these literatures by studying the work environment in all Swedish junior high schools and high schools using detailed data on complaints and incidences of disorder, including violence. Comparing educational levels to gauge differences in degree of choice made possible by competition, we overall find more adverse work environment in junior high schools facing stronger school competition and with many low-SES students in either the school or the region. Conversely, we find better work environment in high schools facing stronger school competition, and in high schools with a large share of students with foreign background. To assess causal effects of competition on work environment we compare regions that introduced competition versus those that have not in a difference-in-difference framework. In such regions only complaints in high schools decrease after competition is introduced. We highlight the importance of including multiple measures of both competition and work environment.

Sebhatu, A., Wennberg, K., Lakomaa, E. & Brandén, M. (2020). Work Environment and Competition in Swedish Schools, 1999-2011. Working Paper No. 330. Stockholm: Ratio.

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Working Paper No. 330: Work Environment and Competition in Swedish Schools, 1999-2011
Working paperPublication
Sebhatu, A., Wennberg, K., Lakomaa, E. & Brandén, M.
Publication year

2020

Published in

Ratio Working Paper

Abstract

Research on schools’ work environment highlights socioeconomic conditions (SES) as primary drivers of work environment, but evidence to date is primarily limited to cross-sectional samples. Research on school competition has revealed important effects on educational outcomes, but effects on work environment are largely unknown. We bridge these literatures by studying the work environment in all Swedish junior high schools and high schools using detailed data on complaints and incidences of disorder, including violence. Comparing educational levels to gauge differences in degree of choice made possible by competition, we overall find more adverse work environment in junior high schools facing stronger school competition and with many low-SES students in either the school or the region. Conversely, we find better work environment in high schools facing stronger school competition, and in high schools with a large share of students with foreign background. To assess causal effects of competition on work environment we compare regions that introduced competition versus those that have not in a difference-in-difference framework. In such regions only complaints in high schools decrease after competition is introduced. We highlight the importance of including multiple measures of both competition and work environment.

Working Paper No. 330: Work Environment and Competition in Swedish Schools, 1999-2011
Working paperPublication
Sebhatu, A., Wennberg, K., Lakomaa, E. & Brandén, M.
Publication year

2020

Published in

Ratio Working Paper

Abstract

Research on schools’ work environment highlights socioeconomic conditions (SES) as primary drivers of work environment, but evidence to date is primarily limited to cross-sectional samples. Research on school competition has revealed important effects on educational outcomes, but effects on work environment are largely unknown. We bridge these literatures by studying the work environment in all Swedish junior high schools and high schools using detailed data on complaints and incidences of disorder, including violence. Comparing educational levels to gauge differences in degree of choice made possible by competition, we overall find more adverse work environment in junior high schools facing stronger school competition and with many low-SES students in either the school or the region. Conversely, we find better work environment in high schools facing stronger school competition, and in high schools with a large share of students with foreign background. To assess causal effects of competition on work environment we compare regions that introduced competition versus those that have not in a difference-in-difference framework. In such regions only complaints in high schools decrease after competition is introduced. We highlight the importance of including multiple measures of both competition and work environment.

Ratio Working Paper No. 349: Industrial conflict in essential services in a new era – Swedish rules in a comparative perspective
Working paperPublication
Karlson, N.
Publication year

2021

Published in

Ratio Working Paper

Abstract

This paper examines whether the Swedish regulatory system of dealing with industrial conflicts that affect essential services need an update or reform. Are the existing rules effective in a world where many essential services are upheld by many interdependent agents in complex systems where every single node becomes critical for the functioning of the system, and where the essential service activities could be either private or public? A comparative study is conducted with the corresponding regulatory systems of the United Kingdom, Germany, and Denmark.
The conclusion is that Sweden is a special case. The Swedish protection against and readiness in dealing with societally harmful industrial conflicts in essential services is weaker than in the countries of comparison. Just as in relation to other threats to essential services, it is not sustainable to claim that just because such a threat is not currently present, there would be no need for preparedness.
There are many alternative ways to handle this. Desirable methods should both prevent harmful conflicts from erupting and end conflicts that have grown harmful to society at a later stage. The labour market organisations should have a mutual interest in reforming the rules.

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