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Participation and study decisions in a public system of higher education

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  • Stijn Kelchtermans
  • Frank Verboven

Abstract

We analyze the decision whether to participate and where and what to study in a public system of higher education, based on a unique dataset of all eligible high school pupils in an essentially closed region (Flanders). We find that pupils perceive the available institutions and programs as close substitutes relative to the outside option. This implies an ambiguous role for travel costs: they hardly affect the participation decision, but have a strong impact on the decision where and what to study. To illustrate how our empirical results can inform the debate on reforming public systems, we assess the effects of tuition fee increases. Uniform cost-based tuition fee increases achieve most of the welfare gains; the additional gains from fee differentiation are relatively limited. These welfare gains are quite large under conservative assumptions on the social cost of public funds, and there is a substantial redistribution from students to outsiders. Copyright © 2009 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. in its journal Journal of Applied Econometrics.

Volume (Year): 25 (2010)
Issue (Month): 3 ()
Pages: 355-391

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Handle: RePEc:jae:japmet:v:25:y:2010:i:3:p:355-391

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  1. Bierlaire, M. & Bolduc, D. & McFadden, D., 2008. "The estimation of generalized extreme value models from choice-based samples," Transportation Research Part B: Methodological, Elsevier, vol. 42(4), pages 381-394, May.
  2. Train,Kenneth E., 2009. "Discrete Choice Methods with Simulation," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521766555, April.
  3. Dennis Epple & Richard Romano & Holger Sieg, . "Admission, Tuition, and Financial Aid Policies in the Market for Higher Education," GSIA Working Papers 2003-04, Carnegie Mellon University, Tepper School of Business.
  4. Atkinson, A. B. & Stiglitz, J. E., 1976. "The design of tax structure: Direct versus indirect taxation," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 6(1-2), pages 55-75.
  5. Jacobs, Bas & van der Ploeg, Frederick, 2005. "Guide to Reform of Higher Education: A European Perspective," CEPR Discussion Papers 5327, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  6. Thomas J. Kane, 1995. "Rising Public College Tuition and College Entry: How Well Do Public Subsidies Promote Access to College?," NBER Working Papers 5164, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Nicholas Barr, 2004. "Higher Education Funding," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 20(2), pages 264-283, Summer.
  8. Berry, Steven & Levinsohn, James & Pakes, Ariel, 1995. "Automobile Prices in Market Equilibrium," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 63(4), pages 841-90, July.
  9. Murphy, Kevin M & Topel, Robert H, 1985. "Estimation and Inference in Two-Step Econometric Models," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 3(4), pages 370-79, October.
  10. Daniel McFadden & Kenneth Train, 2000. "Mixed MNL models for discrete response," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 15(5), pages 447-470.
  11. Richard M. Bird, 2005. "Evaluating Public Expenditures: Does It Matter How They are Financed?," International Tax Program Papers 0506, International Tax Program, Institute for International Business, Joseph L. Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto.
  12. Frenette, Marc, 2003. "Access to College and University: Does Distance Matter?," Analytical Studies Branch Research Paper Series 2003201e, Statistics Canada, Analytical Studies Branch.
  13. Terry Long, B.Bridget, 2004. "How have college decisions changed over time? An application of the conditional logistic choice model," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 121(1-2), pages 271-296.
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Cited by:
  1. Vijverberg, Chu-Ping C. & Vijverberg, Wim P., 2012. "Pregibit: A Family of Discrete Choice Models," IZA Discussion Papers 6359, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. Gianni De Fraja & Paola Valbonesi, 2009. "The Design of the University System," Discussion Papers in Economics 09/19, Department of Economics, University of Leicester.
  3. Bea Cantillon & Annemieke De Ridder & Eva Vanhaecht & Gerlinde Verbist, 2010. "(Un)desirable Effects of Output Funding for Flemish Universities," Working Papers 1005, Herman Deleeck Centre for Social Policy, University of Antwerp.
  4. Stefano STAFFOLANI & Claudia PIGINI, 2012. "Enrolment Decision and University Choice;of Italian Secondary School Graduates," Working Papers 380, Universita' Politecnica delle Marche (I), Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche e Sociali.
  5. Cantillon, B. & De Ridder, A. & Vanhaecht, E. & Verbist, G., 2011. "(Un)desirable effects of output funding for Flemish universities," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 30(5), pages 1059-1072, October.

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