Reports 2013/15

Educational behaviour in the dynamic micro-simulation model MOSART

The report provides an overview of the modeling of educational behavior in the MOSART model, and how education is included in the model.

The report provides an overview of the modeling of educational behavior in the MOSART model, and how education is included in the model. The model is used to create projections of labor supply by education and of the population by educational background, and these are presented in the model.

The MOSART model is based on a system called dynamic micro-simulation. The educational characteristics in the MOSART model are determined by the individual’s path through the educational system, defined by the following choices: whether to start an educational activity, choice of the level and field of education, whether to complete or not and, finally, whether to continue or not. In addition, the model contains a module that enables individuals’ educational attainment to be updated without their being registered as being in education. Transition probabilities are estimated on the basis of Norwegian register data from 1999-2009.

The propensity to start an educational activity depends on educational background. The probability of embarking on a new education increases if the individual has spent the last year in education, both if the education was completed or discontinued. The probability of starting in tertiary education is high at the ages of 19 and 20, after which it decreases. After the age of 30, the probability of starting in a new educational activity is relatively low.

Choice of the level and field of education is highly dependent on age – between the age of 16 and 18, the most usual choice is upper secondary education, while at 19 there is a higher probability of choosing folk high school, and, at higher ages, tertiary education is the most common choice. Those starting educational activities at master’s level include both persons with a high school education taking a five-year degree and persons with a completed bachelor level education taking a two-year degree.

The choices of completing and continuing are closely related. The probability of completing an ongoing education is at its highest after having spent three years taking general studies at high school and after three years of short tertiary education for men. The highest probability of completing a long tertiary education is after five years in education. The propensity to continue in education is highest at the start of the education, and it typically peaks at year two of an education.

Those who have their educational attainment updated without their being registered as in education have to a large extent been students in the same fields of study as earlier. The probability of having educational attainment updated is relatively high for immigrant men with unknown educational background who have spent time in the Norwegian educational system. Those who have a low level of education have a higher probability of such updating, and their probability of having their educational attainment updated without being registered also increases with the time previously spent in education.

Based on assumptions about constant transition probabilities, the MOSART model is used to project the labor supply and population by educational background. The educational level of both the population and labor supply is expected to increase as older cohorts with low education are replaced by younger cohorts, who generally have a higher level of education. The number of persons with an educational background in economics and administration, social sciences and humanities at master’s level is expected to increase more than other groups. The same applies to health studies at both master’s and bachelor’s level.

About the publication


Educational behaviour in the dynamic micro-simulation model MOSART


Hege Marie Gjefsen

Series and number

Reports 2013/15


Statistisk sentralbyrå


Level of education, Methods and documentation

ISBN (online)


ISBN (printed)




Number of pages




About Reports

Analyses and annotated statistical results from various surveys are published in the series Reports. Surveys include sample surveys, censuses and register-based surveys.