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Home Publications The short- and long-term effects of student absence: evidence from Sweden

The short- and long-term effects of student absence: evidence from Sweden

Sarah Cattan, Daniel A. Kamhöfer, Martin Karlsson and Therese Nilsson
IFS Working Paper W17/21

Instructional time is seen as an important determinant of school performance, but little is known about the effects of student absence. Combining historical records and administrative data for Swedish individuals born in the 1930s, we examine the impacts of absence in elementary school on short-term academic performance and long-term socio-economic outcomes. Our siblings and individual fi xed effects estimates suggest absence has a moderate adverse effect on academic performance. The detrimental effect fades out over time. While absence negatively correlates with fi nal education, income and longevity, we only fi nd robust evidence that it lowers the probability of employment at age 25-30.