DP15158 A Second Chance? Labor Market Returns to Adult Education Using School Reforms
Roughly one third of a cohort drop out of high school across OECD countries, and developing
eﬀective tools to address prime-aged high school dropouts is a key policy question. We leverage
high quality Norwegian register data, and for identiﬁcation we exploit reforms enabling access to
high school for adults above the age of 25. The paper ﬁnds that considerable increases in high
school completion and beyond among women lead to higher earnings, increased employment, and
decreased fertility. As male education remains unchanged by the reforms, later life education
reduces the pre-existing gender earnings gap by a considerable fraction.