Based on high-quality skill data from PIAAC, this paper provides evidence on the effect of schooling on labor-market relevant cognitive skills. For identification, I exploit the staggered introduction of a compulsory ninth grade in basic track schools across German states, as well as a simultaneous reform that introduced short school years to harmonize the start of the school year nation-wide. Instrumental-variable results suggest that the additional year of compulsory schooling increased numeracy skills of basic-track students by about 0.2 standard deviations. Using superior skill data, the results contrast with previous evidence of zero skill effects of compulsory schooling in Germany.
Returns to education compulsory schooling reform skills PIAAC