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Participation and Schooling in a Public System of Higher Education

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  • Kelchtermans, Stijn
  • Verboven, Frank

Abstract

We analyze the determinants of participation (whether to study) and schooling (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, implying an ambiguous role for travel costs: they hardly affect the participation decisions, but have a strong impact on the schooling decisions. In addition, high school background plays an important role in both the participation and schooling decisions. 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 unimportant. These welfare gains are quite large if one makes conservative assumptions on the social cost of public funds, and there is a substantial redistribution from students to outsiders.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 5690.

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Date of creation: May 2006
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:5690

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Keywords: higher education; participation; policy reform; schooling;

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  1. Dynarski, Susan, 2001. "Does Aid Matter? Measuring the Effect of Student Aid on College Attendance and Completion," Working Paper Series rwp01-034, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
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  8. 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.
  9. 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.
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Cited by:
  1. Kelchtermans, Stijn & Verboven, Frank, 2007. "Reducing product diversity in higher education," Working Papers 2007/14, Hogeschool-Universiteit Brussel, Faculteit Economie en Management.

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