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Widening participation in higher education: analysis using linked administrative data

  • Haroon Chowdry
  • Claire Crawford
  • Lorraine Dearden
  • Alissa Goodman
  • Anna Vignoles

Accurate estimates of the extent of ethnic parity amongst benefit claimants are very important for policymakers who provide interventions for these groups. We use new administrative data on benefit claimants in Great Britain to document differences in labour market outcomes between Ethnic Minority and White claimants, both before and after controlling for rich observable characteristics. We do so using a variety of methods, from OLS to propensity score matching to difference-in-differences. We find that, in many cases, Minorities and Whites are simply too different for satisfactory estimates to be calculated, and that results are sensitive to the methodology used. This calls into question previous results based on simple regression techniques, which may hide the fact that observationally different ethnic groups are being compared by parametric extrapolation. For Income Support and Incapacity Benefit claimants, however, we could calculate satisfactory results. For these groups, large and significant raw penalties almost always disappear once we appropriately control for pre-inflow characteristics.

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1111/j.1467-985X.2012.01043.x
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Article provided by Royal Statistical Society in its journal Journal of the Royal Statistical Society: Series A (Statistics in Society).

Volume (Year): 176 (2013)
Issue (Month): 2 (02)
Pages: 431-457

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Handle: RePEc:bla:jorssa:v:176:y:2013:i:2:p:431-457
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  1. Lorraine Dearden & Leslie McGranahan & Barbara Sianesi, 2004. "The role of credit constraints in educational choices: evidence from NCDS and BCS70," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 19447, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  2. 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.
  3. Jo Blanden & Stephen Machin, 2004. "Educational inequality and the expansion of UK higher education," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 17497, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  4. Cunha, Flavio & Heckman, James J. & Lochner, Lance, 2006. "Interpreting the Evidence on Life Cycle Skill Formation," Handbook of the Economics of Education, Elsevier.
  5. Jo Blanden & Paul Gregg, 2004. "Family income and educational attainment : a review of approaches and evidence for Britain," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 333, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  6. Graham Hobbs & Anna Vignoles, 2007. "Is Free School Meal Status a Valid Proxy for Socio-Economic Status (in Schools Research)?," CEE Discussion Papers 0084, Centre for the Economics of Education, LSE.
  7. James Heckman & Pedro Carneiro & Flavio Cunha, 2004. "The Technology of Skill Formation," 2004 Meeting Papers 681, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  8. Philippe Belley & Lance Lochner, 2007. "The Changing Role of Family Income and Ability in Determining Educational Achievement," NBER Working Papers 13527, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Andrew Jenkins & Anna Vignoles & Alison Wolf & Fernando Galindo-Rueda, 2003. "The determinants and labour market effects of lifelong learning," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 35(16), pages 1711-1721.
  10. Fernando Galindo-Rueda & Oscar Marcenaro & Anna Vignoles, 2004. "The Widening Socio-Economic Gap in UK Higher Education," CEE Discussion Papers 0044, Centre for the Economics of Education, LSE.
  11. Steve Machin & Anna Vignoles, 2004. "Educational inequality: the widening socio-economic gap," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 25(2), pages 107-128, June.
  12. James Heckman & Pedro Carneiro, 2003. "Human Capital Policy," NBER Working Papers 9495, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. 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.
  14. Costas Meghir & Mårten Palme, 2005. "Educational Reform, Ability, and Family Background," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(1), pages 414-424, March.
  15. Vignoles Anna F & Powdthavee Nattavudh, 2009. "The Socioeconomic Gap in University Dropouts," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 9(1), pages 1-36, April.
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