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A multinomial logit model of college stopout and dropout behavior

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  • Stratton, Leslie S.
  • O'Toole, Dennis M.
  • Wetzel, James N.

Abstract

Studies of college attrition typically assume that all attrition is permanent. We use data from the 1990/94 Beginning Postsecondary Survey to distinguish between long-term dropout and short-term stopout behavior in order to test that assumption. We find significant differences between those who stop out and those who drop out in the first year. Failure to recognize these differences biases the results of standard attrition models and hence may cause policy makers to pursue inappropriate policy initiatives or incorrectly target at-risk populations. Furthermore, the type of financial aid received is found to have a differential impact on stopout versus dropout probabilities.

Suggested Citation

  • Stratton, Leslie S. & O'Toole, Dennis M. & Wetzel, James N., 2008. "A multinomial logit model of college stopout and dropout behavior," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 27(3), pages 319-331, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ecoedu:v:27:y:2008:i:3:p:319-331
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    1. Stephen V. Cameron & James J. Heckman, 1998. "Life Cycle Schooling and Dynamic Selection Bias: Models and Evidence for Five Cohorts of American Males," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 106(2), pages 262-333, April.
    2. Hoenack, Stephen A. & Pierro, Daniel J., 1990. "An econometric model of a public university's income and enrollments," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 14(3), pages 403-423, December.
    3. Montmarquette, Claude & Mahseredjian, Sophie & Houle, Rachel, 2001. "The determinants of university dropouts: a bivariate probability model with sample selection," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 20(5), pages 475-484, October.
    4. 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.
    5. Manski, Charles F., 1989. "Schooling as experimentation: a reappraisal of the postsecondary dropout phenomenon," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 8(4), pages 305-312, August.
    6. Light, Audrey, 1995. "Hazard model estimates of the decision to reenroll in school," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 2(4), pages 381-406, December.
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    Cited by:

    1. Wydra-Somaggio, Gabriele, 2017. "Early termination of vocational training: dropout or stopout?," IAB Discussion Paper 201703, Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany].
    2. Sylke V. Schnepf, 2015. "University dropouts and labor market success," IZA World of Labor, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA), pages 182-182, September.
    3. Bernard Fortin & Safa Ragued, 2016. "Does Temporary Interruption in Postsecondary Education Induce a Wage Penalty? Evidence from Canada," Cahiers de recherche 1605, Centre de recherche sur les risques, les enjeux économiques, et les politiques publiques.
    4. Stratton, Leslie S. & O'Toole, Dennis M. & Wetzel, James N., 2006. "Are the Factors Affecting Dropout Behavior Related to Initial Enrollment Intensity for College Undergraduates?," IZA Discussion Papers 1951, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    5. Burks, Stephen V. & Lewis, Connor & Kivi, Paul & Wiener, Amanda & Anderson, Jon E. & Götte, Lorenz & DeYoung, Colin G. & Rustichini, Aldo, 2014. "Moving Ahead by Thinking Backwards: Cognitive Skills, Personality, and Economic Preferences in Collegiate Success," IZA Discussion Papers 7952, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    6. Charlene Kalenkoski & Sabrina Pabilonia, 2010. "Parental transfers, student achievement, and the labor supply of college students," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 23(2), pages 469-496, March.
    7. repec:eee:ecoedu:v:58:y:2017:i:c:p:108-122 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Tyler Ransom & Esteban Aucejo & Arnaud Maurel & Peter Arcidiacono, 2014. "College Attrition and the Dynamics of Information Revelation," 2014 Meeting Papers 529, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    9. P. Wesley Routon & Jay K. Walker, 2015. "A Smart Break? College Tenure Interruption and Graduating Student Outcomes," Education Finance and Policy, MIT Press, vol. 10(2), pages 244-276, March.
    10. Horacio Matos-Díaz, 2009. "Determinantes de las tasas universitarias de graduación, retención y deserción en Puerto Rico: Un estudio de Caso," REVISTA DE ECONOMÍA DEL ROSARIO, UNIVERSIDAD DEL ROSARIO, May.
    11. Stephen E. Childs & Ross Finnie & Felice Martinello, 2017. "Postsecondary Student Persistence and Pathways: Evidence From the YITS-A in Canada," Research in Higher Education, Springer;Association for Institutional Research, vol. 58(3), pages 270-294, May.
    12. repec:aec:ebooks:12 is not listed on IDEAS
    13. Burks, Stephen V. & Lewis, Connor & Kivi, Paul A. & Wiener, Amanda & Anderson, Jon E. & Götte, Lorenz & DeYoung, Colin G. & Rustichini, Aldo, 2015. "Cognitive skills, personality, and economic preferences in collegiate success," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 115(C), pages 30-44.

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    JEL classification:

    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education

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