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The impact of business cycle fluctuations on graduate school enrollment

  • Johnson, Matthew T.
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    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.

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    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0272775713000290
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    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Economics of Education Review.

    Volume (Year): 34 (2013)
    Issue (Month): C ()
    Pages: 122-134

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:ecoedu:v:34:y:2013:i:c:p:122-134
    Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/econedurev

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    1. Kahn, Lisa B., 2010. "The long-term labor market consequences of graduating from college in a bad economy," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(2), pages 303-316, April.
    2. Mattila, J Peter, 1982. "Determinants of Male School Enrollments: A Time-Series Analysis," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 64(2), pages 242-51, May.
    3. Dellas, Harris & Sakellaris, Plutarchos, 1996. "On the cyclicality of schooling: Theory and evidence," Discussion Papers (IRES - Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales) 1997002, Université catholique de Louvain, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES).
    4. Mattila, J. Peter, 1982. "Determinants of Male School Enrollments, A Time-Series Analysis," Staff General Research Papers 10849, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
    5. Philip Oreopoulos & Till von Wachter & Andrew Heisz, 2012. "The Short- and Long-Term Career Effects of Graduating in a Recession," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 4(1), pages 1-29, January.
    6. 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.
    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.
    8. Dellas, Harris & Koubi, Vally, 2003. "Business cycles and schooling," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 19(4), pages 843-859, November.
    9. 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.
    10. 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 553-60, 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. Paul Oyer, 2006. "Initial Labor Market Conditions and Long-Term Outcomes for Economists," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 20(3), pages 143-160, Summer.
    13. Brad R. Humphreys, 2000. "Do Business Cycles Affect State Appropriations to Higher Education?," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 67(2), pages 398-413, July.
    14. 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.
    15. Michael S. Christian, 2007. "Liquidity constraints and the cyclicality of college enrollment in the United States," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 59(1), pages 141-169, January.
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