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The Impact of Degree Duration on Higher Education Participation: Evidence from a Large‐scale Natural Experiment

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  • Daniele Bondonio
  • Fabio Berton

Abstract

This paper investigates the effects on enrolment, retention rate and on‐time graduation of a nationwide Bologna Process reform introduced in Italy to establish BAs with a duration of three years, followed by optional second‐tier degrees of two years, in place of single‐tier degrees of four or five years. The analysis exploits exogenous delay of treatment conditions and the unique availability of microdata that cover the universe of the departments. We estimate that the reform boosted first‐year enrolments by 14.5–17.3 percentage points, compared to a counterfactual status of no reform. This enrolment shift was due to participation gains rather than substitution effects, and it is likely to have persisted in the longer term. Moreover, no trade‐off between increased participation and deteriorated retention and on‐time graduation emerged.

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  • Daniele Bondonio & Fabio Berton, 2018. "The Impact of Degree Duration on Higher Education Participation: Evidence from a Large‐scale Natural Experiment," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 80(5), pages 905-930, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:obuest:v:80:y:2018:i:5:p:905-930
    DOI: 10.1111/obes.12231
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    Cited by:

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    2. Laporšek, Suzana & Orazem, Peter F. & Vodopivec, Milan & Vodopivec, Matija, 2021. "Winners and losers after 25 years of transition: Decreasing wage inequality in Slovenia," Economic Systems, Elsevier, vol. 45(2).
    3. Carmen Aina & Daniela Sonedda, 2022. "Sooner or later? The impact of child education on household consumption," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 63(4), pages 2071-2099, October.
    4. Thomsen, Stephan L. & Trunzer, Johannes, 2020. "Did the Bologna Process Challenge the German Apprenticeship System? Evidence from a Natural Experiment," IZA Discussion Papers 13806, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • C21 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Cross-Sectional Models; Spatial Models; Treatment Effect Models
    • J21 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Force and Employment, Size, and Structure

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