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Accounting for the Changing Role of Family Income in Determining College Entry

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  • Christoph Winter

Abstract

In this paper, I analyze the determinants of college enrolment and the changes in these determinants over time. I propose a quantitative life-cycle model with college enrolment. Altruistic parents provide financial support to their children. Using counterfactual experiments, I find that 24 percent of all households are financially constrained in their college decision. Constraints become more severe over time. I show that my model is consistent with a narrow college enrolment gap between students from rich and poor families, as previously reported in the empirical literature. The estimation of enrolment gaps is a popular reduced-form approach for measuring the fraction of constrained households. My results suggest that these reduced-form estimates are misleading, and that a structural model of parental transfers is needed to correctly identify constrained households. Further, I show that parental transfers are an important driver behind the changing role of family income as a determinant of college entry, a fact that is well documented for the US economy.

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  • Christoph Winter, 2014. "Accounting for the Changing Role of Family Income in Determining College Entry," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 116(4), pages 909-963, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:scandj:v:116:y:2014:i:4:p:909-963
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    2. Matthew T. Johnson, 2010. "Borrowing Constraints, College Enrollment, and Delayed Entry," Working Papers 2011-006, Human Capital and Economic Opportunity Working Group, revised Sep 2012.
    3. Brant Abbott & Giovanni Gallipoli & Costas Meghir & Giovanni L. Violante, 2019. "Education Policy and Intergenerational Transfers in Equilibrium," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 127(6), pages 2569-2624.
    4. Matthew T. Johnson, 2013. "Borrowing Constraints, College Enrollment, and Delayed Entry," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 31(4), pages 669-725.
    5. Findeisen, Sebastian & Sachs, Dominik, 2015. "Designing efficient college and tax policies," Working Papers 15-09, University of Mannheim, Department of Economics.
    6. Florian Wendelspiess Chávez Juárez, 2015. "Intergenerational transmission of education: the relative importance of transmission channels," Latin American Economic Review, Springer;Centro de Investigaciòn y Docencia Económica (CIDE), vol. 24(1), pages 1-44, December.
    7. Ana Balcão Reis, 2020. "Public funding of higher education: Who gains, who loses?," International Journal of Economic Theory, The International Society for Economic Theory, vol. 16(2), pages 196-215, June.
    8. Christopher Rauh, 2015. "The Political Economy of Early and College Education - Can Voting Bend the Great Gatsby Curve?," 2015 Meeting Papers 82, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    9. Brant Abbott & Giovanni Gallipoli & Costas Meghir & Giovanni L. Violante, 2013. "Education Policy�and Intergenerational Transfers in Equilibrium," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 1887, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
    10. Krueger, Dirk & Ludwig, Alexander, 2016. "On the optimal provision of social insurance: Progressive taxation versus education subsidies in general equilibrium," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 77(C), pages 72-98.
    11. Gianluca Violante & Giovanni Gallipoli & Costas Meghir, 2005. "Education Decisions, Equilibrium Policies and Wages Dispersion," 2005 Meeting Papers 522, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    12. Geppert, Christian, 2015. "On the Distributional Implications of Demographic Change," VfS Annual Conference 2015 (Muenster): Economic Development - Theory and Policy 113070, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    13. Sachs, Dominik & Findeisen, Sebastian, 2014. "Designing Efficient Education and Tax Policies," VfS Annual Conference 2014 (Hamburg): Evidence-based Economic Policy 100504, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    14. Florian Chávez-Juárez, 2018. "The effect of cash transfer programs on educational mobility," PLOS ONE, Public Library of Science, vol. 13(10), pages 1-19, October.
    15. repec:spr:laecrv:v:24:y:2015:i:1:p:1-44 is not listed on IDEAS
    16. Alfonso, Mariana, 2011. "Credit Constraints and the Demand for Higher Education in Latin America," IDB Publications (Working Papers) 2526, Inter-American Development Bank.
    17. Mariana Alfonso, 2009. "Credit Constraints and the Demand for Higher Education in Latin America," IDB Publications (Working Papers) 9314, Inter-American Development Bank.
    18. Florian Wendelspiess Chávez Juárez, 2011. "Intergenerational transmission of education - Uncovering the mechanisms behind high intergenerational correlations," Working Papers 234, ECINEQ, Society for the Study of Economic Inequality.

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D11 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Theory
    • D31 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - Personal Income and Wealth Distribution
    • D58 - Microeconomics - - General Equilibrium and Disequilibrium - - - Computable and Other Applied General Equilibrium Models
    • D91 - Microeconomics - - Micro-Based Behavioral Economics - - - Role and Effects of Psychological, Emotional, Social, and Cognitive Factors on Decision Making
    • I2 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education

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