In Finland, it is possible for secondary education students to complete both a general education matriculation degree and a vocational degree. They can be completed either consecutively or in parallel as a combined degree. However, the effects of completing a combined degree on students’ educational and labor market outcomes and on the public economy are unclear. The effects at the individual level may also depend on whether the results of those with a combined degree are compared with the results of those with a basic degree, those with only vocational or general education degree, or those with consecutive degrees.
Comparable international research on the subject is scarse. Institutions in different countries differ considerably from each other, which is why no previous research directly comparable to Finnish combined degrees is currently available to support decision-making and development.
This research project forms a comprehensive and reliable assessment of the effects of completing combined degree. The project takes into account the challenges for impact assessment arising from the selection of students for different performance methods. The aim is to minimize the selection bias by controlling the students’ background characteristics, such as previous schol success, and by utilizing the time-region-level variation that may arise from the 1992–2001 youth education experiment in the completion of the joint degree.
The project is implemented as a joint project between Etla and The Labour Institute for Economic Research (Labore), who is leading the project.