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The impact of business cycle fluctuations on graduate school enrollment

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  • Johnson, Matthew T.

Abstract

This paper adds to the understanding of student decisions about graduate school attendance by studying the magnitude of the effect of business cycle fluctuations on enrollment. I use data on graduate school enrollment from the Current Population Survey and statewide variation in unemployment rates across time to proxy for changes in business cycle conditions. I find that overall graduate school enrollment is countercyclical for females and acyclical for males. I show that changes in the unemployment rate have non-linear impacts on female enrollment and that poor labor market conditions lead to a substitution from full-time enrollment to part-time enrollment for both genders.

Suggested Citation

  • Johnson, Matthew T., 2013. "The impact of business cycle fluctuations on graduate school enrollment," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 34(C), pages 122-134.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ecoedu:v:34:y:2013:i:c:p:122-134 DOI: 10.1016/j.econedurev.2013.02.002
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Harris Dellas & Plutarchos Sakellaris, 2003. "On the cyclicality of schooling: theory and evidence," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 55(1), pages 148-172, January.
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    3. Mattila, J. Peter, 1982. "Determinants of Male School Enrollments, A Time-Series Analysis," Staff General Research Papers Archive 10849, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
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    7. Berger, Mark C. & Kostal, Thomas, 2002. "Financial resources, regulation, and enrollment in US public higher education," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 21(2), pages 101-110, April.
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    10. Dellas, Harris & Koubi, Vally, 2003. "Business cycles and schooling," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 19(4), pages 843-859, November.
    11. Bedard, Kelly & Herman, Douglas A., 2008. "Who goes to graduate/professional school? The importance of economic fluctuations, undergraduate field, and ability," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 27(2), pages 197-210, April.
    12. Julian R. Betts & Laurel L. McFarland, 1995. "Safe Port in a Storm: The Impact of Labor Market Conditions on Community College Enrollments," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 30(4), pages 741-765.
    13. Kane, Thomas J, 1994. "College Entry by Blacks since 1970: The Role of College Costs, Family Background, and the Returns to Education," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 102(5), pages 878-911, October.
    14. Gustman, Alan L & Steinmeier, Thomas L, 1981. "The Impact of Wages and Unemployment on Youth Enrollment and Labor Supply," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 63(4), pages 553-560, November.
    15. Gautam Hazarika, 2002. "The Role of Credit Constraints in the Cyclicality of College Enrolments," Education Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 10(2), pages 133-143.
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    Cited by:

    1. Venke Furre Haaland, 2016. "The lost generation: Effects of youth labor market opportunities on long-term labor market outcomes," Discussion Papers 835, Statistics Norway, Research Department.
    2. Joseph G. Altonji & Lisa B. Kahn & Jamin D. Speer, 2016. "Cashier or Consultant? Entry Labor Market Conditions, Field of Study, and Career Success," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 34(S1), pages 361-401.
    3. Megalokonomou, Rigissa & Goulas, Sofoklis, 2016. "Which degrees do students prefer during recessions?," MPRA Paper 75355, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    4. Pratikshya Sapkota & Umesh Bastola, 2015. "On the relationship between business cycle and college enrollment in the U.S.: a time series approach," Economics and Business Letters, Oviedo University Press, vol. 4(1), pages 7-16.
    5. Canyon Bosler & Mary C. Daly & John G. Fernald & Bart Hobijn, 2017. "The Outlook for U.S. Labor-Quality Growth," NBER Chapters,in: Education, Skills, and Technical Change: Implications for Future U.S. GDP Growth National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. repec:spr:scient:v:111:y:2017:i:3:d:10.1007_s11192-017-2317-y is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Dimitrios Varvarigos, 2013. "Endogenous Cycles and Human Capital," Discussion Papers in Economics 13/18, Department of Economics, University of Leicester.
    8. Dimitrios Varvarigos, 2017. "Endogenous cycles and human capital," Journal of Economics, Springer, vol. 120(1), pages 31-45, January.
    9. Fumihiko SUGA, 2017. "The Returns to Postgraduate Education," ESRI Discussion paper series 336, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI).
    10. Annika C. Froehlich, 2016. "Does the curricular structure affect doctoral enrolment?," Journal of Business Economics, Springer, vol. 86(9), pages 1067-1089, December.
    11. Stratton, Leslie S., 2017. "Housing Prices, Unemployment Rates, Disadvantage, and Progress toward a Degree," IZA Discussion Papers 10941, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    12. Gicheva, Dora & Thompson, Jeffrey, 2014. "The Effects of Student Loans on Long-Term Household Financial Stability," UNCG Economics Working Papers 14-2, University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Department of Economics.
    13. Bednar, Steven & Gicheva, Dora, 2013. "Tax benefits for graduate education: Incentives for whom?," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 36(C), pages 181-197.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Graduate school; Higher education; Business cycles;

    JEL classification:

    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education
    • I23 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Higher Education; Research Institutions

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