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Social Class and Undergraduate Degree Subject in the UK

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  • Massimiliano Bratti

    (DEAS, University of Milan)

Abstract

Although past research has established the existence of strong social class effects on the decision to undertake higher education in the UK, there is only sparse empirical work investigating social class influences on the choice of degree subject at the undergraduate level. We estimate trinomial probit models of undergraduate degree subject enrolled for the period 1981-1991 using Universities’ Statistical Record data and generally find no social class effect. This finding is robust to different ways to aggregate degree subjects and the use of alternative econometric models. Our analysis suggests that in a period pre-dating the mass expansion of higher education, the replacement of student grants with student loans and the introduction of undergraduate student tuition fees, the UK university system granted equal opportunities to students from different social classes in terms of the degree subject enrolled.

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Paper provided by Universitá degli Studi di Milano in its series UNIMI - Research Papers in Economics, Business, and Statistics with number unimi-1015.

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Date of creation: 24 Nov 2005
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Handle: RePEc:bep:unimip:unimi-1015

Note: oai:cdlib1:unimi-1015
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Keywords: degree subject; social class; UK; undergraduate;

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Cited by:
  1. Tuomo Suhonen, 2012. "The role of distances and parents’ educational background in university field of study choice," ERSA conference papers ersa12p751, European Regional Science Association.
  2. Tacsir, Ezequiel, 2010. "Choosing a career in Science and Technology," MERIT Working Papers 014, United Nations University - Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).
  3. Tacsir, Ezequiel, 2010. "Occupation Choice: Family, Social and Market Influences," MERIT Working Papers 013, United Nations University - Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).

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