The Effect of Housing Wealth on College Choice: Evidence from the Housing Boom
AbstractThe higher education system in the United States is characterized by a large degree of quality heterogeneity, and there is a growing literature suggesting students attending higher quality universities have better educational and labor market outcomes. In this paper, we use NLSY97 data combined with the difference in the timing and strength of the housing boom across cities to examine how short-run home price growth affects the quality of postsecondary schools chosen by students. Our findings indicate a $10,000 increase in a family’s housing wealth in the four years prior to a student becoming of college-age increases the likelihood she attends a flagship public university relative to a non-flagship public university by 2.0 percent and decreases the relative probability of attending a community college by 1.6 percent. These effects are driven by relatively lower and middle-income families. We show that these changes are due to the effect of housing wealth on where students apply, not on whether they are admitted. We also find that short-run increases in home prices lead to increases in direct quality measures of the institutions students attend. Finally, for the lower-income sample, we find home price increases reduce student labor supply and that each $10,000 increase in home prices is associated with a 1.8% increase in the likelihood of completing college.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 18075.
Date of creation: May 2012
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- Michael F. Lovenheim & C. Lockwood Reynolds, 2013. "The Effect of Housing Wealth on College Choice: Evidence from the Housing Boom," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 48(1), pages 1-35.
- I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education
- I23 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Higher Education and Research Institutions
- J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
- R31 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Real Estate Markets, Production Analysis, and Firm Location - - - Housing Supply and Markets
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2012-05-22 (All new papers)
- NEP-EDU-2012-05-22 (Education)
- NEP-LAB-2012-05-22 (Labour Economics)
- NEP-URE-2012-05-22 (Urban & Real Estate Economics)
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- Bridget Terry Long, 2013. "The Financial Crisis and College Enrollment: How Have Students and Their Families Responded?," NBER Chapters, in: How the Financial Crisis and Great Recession Affected Higher Education National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Teng Sun, Stephen & Yannelis, Constantine, 2013. "Credit Constraints and Demand for Higher Education: Evidence from Financial Deregulation," MPRA Paper 48726, University Library of Munich, Germany.
- Meta Brown & Sarah Stein & Basit Zafar, 2013. "The impact of housing markets on consumer debt: credit report evidence from 1999 to 2012," Staff Reports 617, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
- Daniel Cooper & María José Luengo-Prado, 2011. "House price growth when kids are teenagers: a path to higher intergenerational achievement?," Working Papers 11-6, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.
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