No. 9/2011: Geographical constraints and educational attainment


This paper estimates the impact of geographical proximity to upper secondary schools on graduation propensity. It uses detailed information on real travel time between students' homes and schools in Norway and on the composition of study programs at each school. We find that reduced travel time has a positive effect on graduation. The result is robust to a number of specifications, including IV-models and difference-in-difference models. The effect seems to be concentrated on students with mediocre prior academic achievement, which suggests that mainly students at the margin of graduation are affected by geographical constraints.