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The Effect of Tuition Fees on Student Enrollment and Location Choice – Interregional Migration, Border Effects and Gender Differences

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  • Björn Alecke
  • Claudia Burgard
  • Timo Mitze

    ()

Abstract

This paper investigates the effects of tuition fees on the university enrollment and location decision of high school graduates in Germany. After a Federal Constitutional Court decision in 2005, 7 out of 16 German federal states introduced tuition fees for higher education. In the empirical analysis, we use the variation over time and across regions in this institutional change in order to isolate the causal effect of tuition fees on student enrollment and migration. Controlling for a range of regional- and university-specific effects, our results from Difference-in-Differences estimations show that there is generally no effect of tuition fees on internal enrollment rates. However, we find a redirecting effect on first-year students‘ migratory behavior as indicated by a signicant drop in the gross in-migration rates in fee-charging states. Further, our results point at a stronger migration response of male students, which, however, can mainly be attributed to a “border effect”. That is, interregional migration flows of male students are redirected from fee-charging universities to those universities that are geographically close by while being located in a non-charging neighboring state. Controlling for these border effects, the relocating trend in long-distance migration of university freshmen does not show any particular gender differences.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Universität Dortmund, Universität Duisburg-Essen in its series Ruhr Economic Papers with number 0404.

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Length: 30 pages
Date of creation: Feb 2013
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:rwi:repape:0404

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Keywords: Tuition fees; gender differences; higher education; student migration; policy evaluation; Difference-in-Differences;

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References

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  1. Gary S. Becker & William J. Hubbard & Kevin Murphy, 2010. "Explaining the Worldwide Boom in Higher Education of Women," Working Papers 2010-009, Becker Friedman Institute for Research In Economics.
  2. Bruce Chapman & Mathias Sinning, 2010. "Student Loan Reforms for German Higher Education: Financing Tuition Fees," CEPR Discussion Papers 646, Centre for Economic Policy Research, Research School of Economics, Australian National University.
  3. Bjoern Alecke & Timo Mitze, 2012. "Studiengebühren und das Wanderungsverhalten von Studienanfängern: Eine panel-ökonometrische Wirkungsanalyse," Working Papers 6-2012, GEFRA - Gesellschaft fuer Finanz- und Regionalanalysen.
  4. James P. LeSage & R. Kelley Pace, 2008. "Spatial Econometric Modeling Of Origin-Destination Flows," Journal of Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 48(5), pages 941-967.
  5. Alessandra Faggian & Philip McCann & Stephen Sheppard, 2007. "Some Evidence That Women Are More Mobile Than Men: Gender Differences In U.K. Graduate Migration Behavior," Journal of Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 47(3), pages 517-539.
  6. Mchugh, Richard & Morgan, James N., 1984. "The determinants of interstate student migration: a place-to-place analysis," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 3(4), pages 269-278, August.
  7. Dwenger, Nadja & Storck, Johanna & Wrohlich, Katharina, 2012. "Do tuition fees affect the mobility of university applicants? Evidence from a natural experiment," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 31(1), pages 155-167.
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