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University rankings in action? The importance of rankings and an excellence competition for university choice of high-ability students

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  • Horstschräer, Julia

Abstract

This paper analyzes how high-ability students respond to different indicators of university quality when applying for a university. Are prospective students influenced by quality indicators of a university ranking or by an excellence status awarded within a nationwide competition? And if so, are some quality dimensions, e.g. research reputation, mentoring, faculty infrastructure, students’ satisfaction or the excellence status, more important than others? In order to address these questions, I estimate a random utility model using administrative application data of all German medical schools. As identification relies on the variation in quality indicators over time, I can disentangle the response to changing quality indicators from the common knowledge regarding university attractiveness. Results show that the ranking provides more relevant information in the quality dimensions mentoring, faculty infrastructure and the overall students’ satisfaction than with respect to research.

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  • Horstschräer, Julia, 2012. "University rankings in action? The importance of rankings and an excellence competition for university choice of high-ability students," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 31(6), pages 1162-1176.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ecoedu:v:31:y:2012:i:6:p:1162-1176 DOI: 10.1016/j.econedurev.2012.07.018
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    Cited by:

    1. Gibbons, Stephen & Neumayer, Eric & Perkins, Richard, 2015. "Student satisfaction, league tables and university applications: Evidence from Britain," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 48(C), pages 148-164.
    2. Gibbons, Stephen & Neumayer, Eric & Perkins, Richard, 2013. "Student satisfaction, league tables and University applications," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 58540, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    3. Horstschräer, Julia, 2012. "Decentralizing university admission: Evidence from a natural experiment," ZEW Discussion Papers 12-076, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
    4. Mira Fischer & Patrick Kampkoetter, 2014. "Effects of the German Universities' Excellence Initiative on Ability Sorting of Students and Perceptions of Educational Quality," Cologne Graduate School Working Paper Series 05-01, Cologne Graduate School in Management, Economics and Social Sciences, revised 25 Jun 2016.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Higher education; University choice; College admission; Conditional logit;

    JEL classification:

    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education
    • I23 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Higher Education; Research Institutions
    • I28 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Government Policy
    • C25 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Discrete Regression and Qualitative Choice Models; Discrete Regressors; Proportions; Probabilities

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