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Does the Choice of University Matter? A Study of the Differences across UK Universites in Life Sciences Students' Degree Performance

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  • Massimiliano Bratti

    (University of Warwick)

Abstract

This paper investigates differences across UK universities in 1993 life sciences students' degree performance using individual-level data from the Universities' Statistical Record (USR). Differences across universities are analysed by specifying and estimating a subject- specific educational production function. Even after including a wide range of controls for the quality of students, significant differences emerge across universities in students' degree performance. We apply a two-stage estimation procedure and find evidence that a large part of 'university effects' cannot be explained by the kind of institutional inputs commonly used in the literature on school quality. Finally, we compare the unadjusted ranking of universities based on the proportion of 'good' (first and upper second class honours) degrees awarded with that based on the estimated probability of a 'good' degree obtained from the microeconometric model and find significant differences between the two indicators of universities' performance.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by EconWPA in its series HEW with number 0012003.

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Date of creation: 26 Feb 2001
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Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwphe:0012003

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Web page: http://128.118.178.162

Related research

Keywords: educational economics; input-output analysis; ordered probit; performance indicators; value-added;

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References

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  1. McGuckin, Robert H & Winkler, Donald R, 1979. "University Resources in the Production of Education," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 61(2), pages 242-48, May.
  2. Smith, Jeremy & McKnight, Abigail & Naylor, Robin, 2000. "Graduate Employability: Policy and Performance in Higher Education in the UK," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 110(464), pages F382-411, June.
  3. Bratti, Massimiliano, 2002. "Does the choice of university matter?: a study of the differences across UK universities in life sciences students' degree performance," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 21(5), pages 431-443, October.
  4. Lorraine Dearden & Javier Ferri & Costas Meghir, 2000. "The effect of school quality on educational attainment and wages," IFS Working Papers W00/22, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  5. Stacy Berg Dale & Alan Krueger, 1998. "Estimating the Payoff to Attending a More Selective College: An Application of Selection on Observables and Unobservables," Working Papers 788, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
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  7. Mark C. Berger, 1988. "Predicted future earnings and choice of college major," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 41(3), pages 418-429, April.
  8. MONTMARQUETTE, Claude & CANNINGS, Kathy & MAHSEREDJIAN, Sophie, 1997. "How do Young People Choose College Majors?," Cahiers de recherche 9719, Universite de Montreal, Departement de sciences economiques.
  9. Jeremy P. Smith & Robin A. Naylor, 2001. "Dropping out of university: A statistical analysis of the probability of withdrawal for UK university students," Journal of the Royal Statistical Society Series A, Royal Statistical Society, vol. 164(2), pages 389-405.
  10. Donald Robertson & James Symons, 2003. "Do Peer Groups Matter? Peer Group versus Schooling Effects on Academic Attainment," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 70(277), pages 31-53, February.
  11. Eric A. Hanushek, 1979. "Conceptual and Empirical Issues in the Estimation of Educational Production Functions," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 14(3), pages 351-388.
  12. Altonji, Joseph G, 1993. "The Demand for and Return to Education When Education Outcomes Are Uncertain," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 11(1), pages 48-83, January.
  13. Collier, Paul & Mayer, Colin, 1986. "An Investigation of University Selection Procedures," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 96(380a), pages 163-70, Supplemen.
  14. Pissarides, Christopher A, 1982. "From School to University: The Demand for Post-Compulsory Education in Britain," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 92(367), pages 654-67, September.
  15. Monks, James, 2000. "The returns to individual and college characteristics: Evidence from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 19(3), pages 279-289, June.
  16. Eric A. Hanushek & John F. Kain & Steven G. Rivkin, 1999. "Do Higher Salaries Buy Better Teachers?," NBER Working Papers 7082, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  17. Nevin, Edward, 1972. "How Not to Get a First," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 82(326), pages 658-73, June.
  18. McNabb, Robert & Pal, Sarmistha & Sloane, Peter, 2002. "Gender Differences in Educational Attainment: The Case of University Students in England and Wales," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 69(275), pages 481-503, August.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Delaney, Liam & Harmon, Colm & Ryan, Martin, 2013. "The role of noncognitive traits in undergraduate study behaviours," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 32(C), pages 181-195.
  2. Bratti, Massimiliano, 2002. "Does the choice of university matter?: a study of the differences across UK universities in life sciences students' degree performance," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 21(5), pages 431-443, October.
  3. Naylor, Robin & Smith, Jeremy, 2002. "Schooling Effects On Subsequent University Performance : Evidence For The Uk University Population," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 657, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
  4. Ann Kirby & Brendan McElroy, 2003. "The Effect of Attendance on Grade for First Year Economics Students in University College Cork," The Economic and Social Review, Economic and Social Studies, vol. 34(3), pages 311–326.
  5. Ciriaci, Daria & Muscio, Alessandro, 2010. "Does university choice drive graduates’ employability?," MPRA Paper 22846, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  6. Elias Katsikas & Theodore Panagiotidis, 2010. "Student Status and Academic Performance: an approach of the quality determinants of university studies in Greece," GreeSE – Hellenic Observatory Papers on Greece and Southeast Europe 40, Hellenic Observatory, LSE.
  7. Elias Katsikas & Theodore Panagiotidis, 2011. "Student Status and Academic Performance: Accounting for the Symptom of Long Duration of Studies in Greece," Discussion Paper Series 2011_04, Department of Economics, University of Macedonia, revised Mar 2011.
  8. Naylor, Robin & Smith, Jeremy & McKnight, Abigail, 2002. "Sheer Class? The Impact Of Degree Performance On Graduate Labour Market Outcomes," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 659, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
  9. Andrea Cammelli, 2012. "Consolidamento ed eterogeneità nelle esperienze di studio dei laureati italiani," Working Papers 49, AlmaLaurea Inter-University Consortium.
  10. Elias Katsikas, 2009. "Elements and Symptoms of a Poor Higher Education system: Evidence from a Greek University," Discussion Paper Series 2009_17, Department of Economics, University of Macedonia, revised Dec 2009.
  11. Daghbashyan, Zara & Hårsman, Björn, 2012. "University choice and entrepreneurship," Working Paper Series in Economics and Institutions of Innovation 292, Royal Institute of Technology, CESIS - Centre of Excellence for Science and Innovation Studies.
  12. Changhui Kang, 2004. "University Prestige and Choice of Major Field: Evidence from South Korea," Econometric Society 2004 Far Eastern Meetings 544, Econometric Society.
  13. Francesco Campanella & Maria Della Peruta & Manlio Del Giudice, 2013. "The Role of Sociocultural Background on the Characteristics and the Financing of Youth Entrepreneurship. An Exploratory Study of University Graduates in Italy," Journal of the Knowledge Economy, Springer, vol. 4(3), pages 244-259, September.
  14. Lehmann, Erik & Warning, Susanne, 2002. "Teaching or research? What affects the efficiency of universities," Discussion Papers, Series 1 322, University of Konstanz, Department of Economics.
  15. ROMERO, Julia & PASTOR, José M., 2012. "Las Universidades Españolas Bajo La Influencia De Los Rankings," Regional and Sectoral Economic Studies, Euro-American Association of Economic Development, vol. 12(3).

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