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University rankings in action? The importance of rankings and an excellence competition for university choice of high-ability students

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  • Horstschräer, Julia

Abstract

This paper analyzes how high-ability students respond to different indicators of university quality when applying for a university. Are prospective students influenced by quality indicators of a university ranking or by an excellence status awarded within a nationwide competition? And if so, are some quality dimensions, e.g. research reputation, mentoring, faculty infrastructure, students’ satisfaction or the excellence status, more important than others? In order to address these questions, I estimate a random utility model using administrative application data of all German medical schools. As identification relies on the variation in quality indicators over time, I can disentangle the response to changing quality indicators from the common knowledge regarding university attractiveness. Results show that the ranking provides more relevant information in the quality dimensions mentoring, faculty infrastructure and the overall students’ satisfaction than with respect to research.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Economics of Education Review.

Volume (Year): 31 (2012)
Issue (Month): 6 ()
Pages: 1162-1176

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Handle: RePEc:eee:ecoedu:v:31:y:2012:i:6:p:1162-1176

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/econedurev

Related research

Keywords: Higher education; University choice; College admission; Conditional logit;

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References

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  1. Horstschräer, Julia & Sprietsma, Maresa, 2010. "The effects of the bologna process on college enrollment and drop-out rates," ZEW Discussion Papers 10-018, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
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  7. Griffith, Amanda & Rask, Kevin, 2007. "The influence of the US News and World Report collegiate rankings on the matriculation decision of high-ability students: 1995-2004," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 26(2), pages 244-255, April.
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  11. Braun, Sebastian & Dwenger, Nadja & Kübler, Dorothea, 2007. "Telling the Truth May Not Pay Off: An Empirical Study of Centralised University Admissions in Germany," IZA Discussion Papers 3261, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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  13. Weiler, William C., 1996. "Factors influencing the matriculation choices of high ability students," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 15(1), pages 23-36, February.
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  16. Toutkoushian, Robert K., 2001. "Do parental income and educational attainment affect the initial choices of New Hampshire's college-bound students?," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 20(3), pages 245-262, June.
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Cited by:
  1. Mira Fischer & Patrick Kampkoetter, 2014. "Striving for Excellence: University Competition, Quality Perceptions, and Ability Sorting," Cologne Graduate School Working Paper Series 05-01, Cologne Graduate School in Management, Economics and Social Sciences.
  2. Stephen Gibbons & Eric Neumayer & Richard Perkins, 2013. "Student Satisfaction, League Tables and University Applications," SERC Discussion Papers 0142, Spatial Economics Research Centre, LSE.
  3. Horstschräer, Julia, 2012. "Decentralizing university admission: Evidence from a natural experiment," ZEW Discussion Papers 12-076, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.

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