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Widening participation in higher education: analysis using linked administrative data

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  • Haroon Chowdry

    ()
    (Institute for Fiscal Studies)

  • Claire Crawford

    ()
    (Institute for Fiscal Studies)

  • Lorraine Dearden

    ()
    (Institute for Fiscal Studies and Bedford Group, Institute of Education, University of London)

  • Alissa Goodman

    ()
    (Institute for Fiscal Studies)

  • Anna Vignoles

    (Institute for Fiscal Studies and Institute of Education)

Abstract

This paper makes use of newly linked administrative data to better understand the determinants of higher education participation amongst individuals from socio-economically disadvantaged backgrounds. It is unique in being able to follow two cohorts of students in England - those who took GCSEs in 2001-02 and 2002-03 - from age 11 to age 20. The findings suggest that while there remain large raw gaps in HE participation (and participation at high-status universities) by socio-economic status, these differences are substantially reduced once controls for prior attainment are included. Moreover, these findings hold for both state and private school students. This suggests that poor attainment in secondary schools is more important in explaining lower HE participation rates amongst students from disadvantaged backgrounds than barriers arising at the point of entry into HE. These findings highlight the need for earlier policy intervention to raise HE participation rates amongst disadvantaged youth.

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Paper provided by Institute for Fiscal Studies in its series IFS Working Papers with number W10/04.

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Date of creation: May 2010
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Handle: RePEc:ifs:ifsewp:10/04

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  1. Jo Blanden & Paul Gregg, 2004. "Family Income and Educational Attainment: A Review of Approaches and Evidence for Britain," The Centre for Market and Public Organisation 04/101, Department of Economics, University of Bristol, UK.
  2. Philippe Belley & Lance Lochner, 2007. "The Changing Role of Family Income and Ability in Determining Educational Achievement," Journal of Human Capital, University of Chicago Press, vol. 1(1), pages 37-89.
  3. Vignoles Anna F & Powdthavee Nattavudh, 2009. "The Socioeconomic Gap in University Dropouts," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 9(1), pages 1-36, April.
  4. James Heckman & Pedro Carneiro, 2003. "Human Capital Policy," NBER Working Papers 9495, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Jo Blanden & Stephen Machin, 2013. "Educational Inequality and The Expansion of UK Higher Education," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 60(5), pages 578-596, November.
  6. Cunha, Flavio & Heckman, James J., 2007. "The Technology of Skill Formation," IZA Discussion Papers 2550, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  7. Andrew Jenkins & Anna Vignoles & Alison Wolf & Fernando Galindo-Rueda, 2003. "The determinants and labour market effects of lifelong learning," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 35(16), pages 1711-1721.
  8. Carneiro, Pedro & Heckman, James J., 2002. "The Evidence on Credit Constraints in Post-Secondary Schooling," IZA Discussion Papers 518, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  9. Costas Meghir & Mårten Palme, 2004. "Educational reform, ability and family background," IFS Working Papers W04/10, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  10. Cunha, Flavio & Heckman, James J. & Lochner, Lance, 2006. "Interpreting the Evidence on Life Cycle Skill Formation," Handbook of the Economics of Education, Elsevier.
  11. Lorraine Dearden & Leslie McGranahan & Barbara Sianesi, 2004. "The role of credit constraints in educational choices: evidence from NCDS and BCS70," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 19447, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  12. Fernando Galindo-Rueda & Oscar Marcenaro & Anna Vignoles, 2004. "The Widening Socio-Economic Gap in UK Higher Education," CEE Discussion Papers 0044, Centre for the Economics of Education, LSE.
  13. Graham Hobbs & Anna Vignoles, 2007. "Is Free School Meal Status a Valid Proxy for Socio-Economic Status (in Schools Research)?," CEE Discussion Papers 0084, Centre for the Economics of Education, LSE.
  14. Steve Machin & Anna Vignoles, 2004. "Educational inequality: the widening socio-economic gap," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 25(2), pages 107-128, June.
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Cited by:
  1. Paul J Devereux & Wen Fan, 2011. "Earnings Returns to the British Education Expansion," Working Papers 201111, School Of Economics, University College Dublin.
  2. Lorraine Dearden & Emla Fitzsimons & Gill Wyness, 2011. "The Impact of Tuition Fees and Support on University Participation in the UK," CEE Discussion Papers 0126, Centre for the Economics of Education, LSE.
  3. A Chevalier & C Harmon & V O'Sullivan & I Walker, 2010. "The Impact of Parental Income and Education on the Schooling of their Children," Working Papers 610852, Lancaster University Management School, Economics Department.
  4. Matt Dickson, 2009. "The Causal Effect of Education on Wages Revisited," The Centre for Market and Public Organisation 09/220, Department of Economics, University of Bristol, UK.
  5. Jake Anders & John Micklewright, 2013. "Teenagers' expectations of applying to university: how do they change?," DoQSS Working Papers 13-13, Department of Quantitative Social Science - Institute of Education, University of London.
  6. Jake Anders, 2012. "What's the link between household income and going to university?," DoQSS Working Papers 12-01, Department of Quantitative Social Science - Institute of Education, University of London.
  7. Arnaud Chevalier & Colm Harmon & Vincent O'Sullivan & Ian Walker, 2011. "The Impact of Parental Earnings and Education on the Schooling of Children," Working Papers 201112, Geary Institute, University College Dublin.
  8. Flannery, Darragh & O’Donoghue, Cathal, 2013. "The demand for higher education: A static structural approach accounting for individual heterogeneity and nesting patterns," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 34(C), pages 243-257.
  9. Kevin Denny, 2011. "The effect of abolishing university tuition costs: evidence from Ireland," IFS Working Papers W11/05, Institute for Fiscal Studies.

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