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What's the link between household income and going to university?

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  • Jake Anders

    ()
    (Institute of Education, University of London, 20 Bedford Way, London WC1H 0AL, UK.)

Abstract

The association between household income and university entry is a matter of clear academic and policy interest. This paper sheds new light on the matter using the LSYPE, a recent longitudinal survey from England. While those in the top income quintile group are more likely than those in the bottom quintile group to attend university (66% vs. 24%), much of this gap is explained by earlier educational outcomes. The paper also examines admissions decisions in more detail, separating applying from attending. This analysis yields results suggesting most of the difference in participation rates is driven by the application decision. The attendance gap conditional on having applied is much smaller (85% vs. 68%) and closes completely when earlier educational outcomes are taken into account. Finally, the paper considers attendance at high quality Russell Group universities. By contrast with the main analysis, the Russell Group attendance gap persists even among those who attend university. The findings suggest policies aimed at reducing the university participation gap at point of entry face small rewards. More likely successful are policies aimed at closing the application gap, for example encouraging a wider cross-section of the population to apply and ensuring they have the necessary qualifications.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Department of Quantitative Social Science - Institute of Education, University of London in its series DoQSS Working Papers with number 12-01.

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Date of creation: 27 Mar 2012
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Handle: RePEc:qss:dqsswp:1201

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Keywords: Higher Education; Household Income; Socioeconomic Gradient; Intergenerational Mobility;

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  1. Pedro Carneiro & James J. Heckman, 2002. "The Evidence on Credit Constraints in Post--secondary Schooling," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 112(482), pages 705-734, October.
  2. Petra E. Todd & Kenneth I. Wolpin, 2007. "The Production of Cognitive Achievement in Children: Home, School, and Racial Test Score Gaps," Journal of Human Capital, University of Chicago Press, vol. 1(1), pages 91-136.
  3. Arnaud Chevalier & Gavan Conlon, 2003. "Does it pay to attend a prestigious university?," CEE Discussion Papers 0033, Centre for the Economics of Education, LSE.
  4. Lorraine Dearden & Leslie McGranahan & Barbara Sianesi, 2004. "The Role of Credit Constraints in Educational Choices: Evidence from NCDS and BCS70," CEE Discussion Papers 0048, Centre for the Economics of Education, LSE.
  5. Jo Blanden, 2004. "Family Income and Educational Attainment: A Review of Approaches and Evidence for Britain," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 20(2), pages 245-263, Summer.
  6. Haroon Chowdry & Claire Crawford & Lorraine Dearden & Alissa Goodman & Anna Vignoles, 2010. "Widening Participation in Higher Education: Analysis Using Linked Administrative Data," DoQSS Working Papers 10-08, Department of Quantitative Social Science - Institute of Education, University of London.
  7. David M. Blau, 1999. "The Effect Of Income On Child Development," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 81(2), pages 261-276, May.
  8. Oscar Marcenaro-Gutierrez & Fernando Galindo-Rueda & Anna Vignoles, 2007. "Who actually goes to university?," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 32(2), pages 333-357, May.
  9. Jo Blanden & Paul Gregg, 2004. "Family income and educational attainment: a review of approaches and evidence for Britain," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 19461, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  10. 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.
  11. Spence, A Michael, 1973. "Job Market Signaling," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 87(3), pages 355-74, August.
  12. Broecke, Stijn & Hamed, Joseph, 2008. "Gender gaps in higher education participation: An analysis of the relationship between prior attainment and young participation by gender, socio-economic class and ethnicity," MPRA Paper 35595, University Library of Munich, Germany.
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