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The Effect of Housing Wealth on College Choice: Evidence from the Housing Boom

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  • Michael F. Lovenheim
  • C. Lockwood Reynolds

Abstract

The 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 Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 18075.

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Date of creation: May 2012
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Publication status: published as 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.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:18075

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References

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  1. Michael F. Lovenheim & C. Lockwood Reynolds, 2011. "Changes in Postsecondary Choices by Ability and Income: Evidence from the National Longitudinal Surveys of Youth," Journal of Human Capital, University of Chicago Press, vol. 5(1), pages 70 - 109.
  2. Philippe Belley & Lance Lochner, 2008. "The Changing Role of Family Income and Ability in Determining Educational Achievement," University of Western Ontario, CIBC Centre for Human Capital and Productivity Working Papers 20081, University of Western Ontario, CIBC Centre for Human Capital and Productivity.
  3. Edward L. Glaeser & Joseph Gyourko & Raven E. Saks, 2005. "Why Have Housing Prices Gone Up?," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 2061, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  4. Philip Babcock & Mindy Marks, 2011. "The Falling Time Cost of College: Evidence from Half a Century of Time Use Data," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 93(2), pages 468-478, May.
  5. John Bound & Michael F. Lovenheim & Sarah Turner, 2010. "Why Have College Completion Rates Declined? An Analysis of Changing Student Preparation and Collegiate Resources," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 2(3), pages 129-57, July.
  6. Stephen V. Cameron & Christopher Taber, 2004. "Estimation of Educational Borrowing Constraints Using Returns to Schooling," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 112(1), pages 132-182, February.
  7. Josh Kinsler & Ronni Pavan, 2011. "Family Income and Higher Education Choices: The Importance of Accounting for College Quality," Journal of Human Capital, University of Chicago Press, vol. 5(4), pages 453 - 477.
  8. Kalenkoski, Charlene Marie & Sabrina Wulff Pabilonia, 2006. "Parental Transfers, Student Achievement, and the Labor Supply of College Students," Working Papers 401, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
  9. Stacy Berg Dale & Alan B. Krueger, 1999. "Estimating the Payoff to Attending a More Selective College: An Application of Selection on Observables and Unobservables," NBER Working Papers 7322, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Todd Stinebrickner & Ralph Stinebrickner, 2001. "Working During School and Academic Performance," University of Western Ontario, CIBC Centre for Human Capital and Productivity Working Papers 20011, University of Western Ontario, CIBC Centre for Human Capital and Productivity.
  11. Atif Mian & Amir Sufi, 2009. "The Consequences of Mortgage Credit Expansion: Evidence from the U.S. Mortgage Default Crisis," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 124(4), pages 1449-1496, November.
  12. Kane, Thomas J & Rouse, Cecilia Elena, 1995. "Labor-Market Returns to Two- and Four-Year College," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(3), pages 600-614, June.
  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.
  14. Dan A. Black & Jeffrey A. Smith, 2006. "Estimating the Returns to College Quality with Multiple Proxies for Quality," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 24(3), pages 701-728, July.
  15. Rodney J. Andrews & Jing Li & Michael F. Lovenheim, 2012. "Quantile Treatment Effects of College Quality on Earnings: Evidence from Administrative Data in Texas," NBER Working Papers 18068, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Bruce, Donald J. & Carruthers, Celeste K., 2014. "Jackpot? The impact of lottery scholarships on enrollment in Tennessee," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 81(C), pages 30-44.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Michael F. Lovenheim & Emily G. Owens, 2013. "Does Federal Financial Aid Affect College Enrollment? Evidence from Drug Offenders and the Higher Education Act of 1998," NBER Working Papers 18749, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Lin, Haizhen & Ketcham, Jonathan D. & Rosenquist, James N. & Simon, Kosali I., 2013. "Financial distress and use of mental health care: Evidence from antidepressant prescription claims," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 121(3), pages 449-453.
  6. 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.
  7. Rodney Andrews & Jing Li & Michael Lovenheim, 2014. "Heterogeneous Paths Through College: Detailed Patterns and Relationships with Graduation and Earnings," NBER Working Papers 19935, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Bridget Terry Long, 2014. "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.
  9. Rodney J. Andrews & Jing Li & Michael F. Lovenheim, 2012. "Quantile Treatment Effects of College Quality on Earnings: Evidence from Administrative Data in Texas," NBER Working Papers 18068, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Adamopoulou, Effrosyni & Tanzi, Giulia M., 2014. "Academic Performance and the Great Recession," MPRA Paper 54913, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  11. Haizhen Lin & Jonathan D. Ketcham & James N. Rosenquest & Kosali Simon, 2013. "Financial Distress and Use of Mental Health Care: Evidence from Antidepressant Prescription Claims," Working Papers 2013-06, Indiana University, Kelley School of Business, Department of Business Economics and Public Policy.
  12. Johnson, Eric & Reynolds, C. Lockwood, 2013. "The effect of household hospitalizations on the educational attainment of youth," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 37(C), pages 165-182.

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