The Impact of Ownership Identity on Educational Quality

Charlie Widenfors

Student thesis: Master thesis


Sweden has a unique education system compared to the rest of the world. The government funds privately owned schools without any profitability restrictions. A heated debate regarding morality and the quality of the education is frequently covered in both media and the research field. The discussion has so far focused on the quality of independent schools in comparison to the conventional public schools. However, this study provides a more nuanced perspective on the debate as it focuses on the identities of the owners of the schools and compare educational results in terms of grade point average and Scholastic Aptitude test to identify differences and optimality. The study uses data from all 1316 upper secondary schools in Sweden and investigates the relationship between students’ educational results in terms of grade point average and SweSAT with the different ownership identities. The data is analysed through an OLS regression and tested against two different hypotheses. Firstly, comparing public schools with independent. Secondly, comparing the different ownerships identities within independent schools with each other as well as public schools. The OLS model is used to run the regression and estimate the relationship between owner identity and educational results. To be able to ensure that the differences in the regression is actually due to difference in ownership, controlling variable for socio-economic status and financial resources are applied. The results indicate that there are differences between students’ results in terms of grade point average and SweSATs depending on school ownership. When comparing public and independent schools, the results indicate with significance that public schools are better, both in terms of grades and SweSATs. After comparing ownership identities amongst the school types, there is significant data that suggest that public schools are superior to other ownership identities measure din SweSAT scores. However, no significant result can be identified in terms of grade point average.

EducationsMSc in Finance and Strategic Management, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2019
Number of pages86
SupervisorsRobert Spliid