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The Determinants of Higher Education Participation in Ireland: A Micro Analysis


  • Flannery, Darragh

    (Rural Economic Research Centre (RERC), Teagasc)

  • O'Donoghue, Cathal

    (National Universtity of Ireland, Galway)


In this paper we present a theoretical model of higher education participation in Ireland. Utilising the Living in Ireland Survey data we model the impact of costs (direct and indirect), the estimated life cycle returns, environmental and parental influences and also household credit constraints on the higher education participation decision. We find that foregone earnings and youth employment rates have a negative impact on this decision; this suggests weaker labour markets for young people may have a positive impact on higher education participation. The insignificance of credit constraints in the shape of household income and maintenance grant eligibility from our estimations can also help draw some tentative policy conclusions. Our results also show that life cycle returns and parental educational level may influence participation in higher education in Ireland.

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  • Flannery, Darragh & O'Donoghue, Cathal, 2009. "The Determinants of Higher Education Participation in Ireland: A Micro Analysis," The Economic and Social Review, Economic and Social Studies, vol. 40(1), pages 73-107.
  • Handle: RePEc:eso:journl:v:40:y:2009:i:1:p:73-107

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Darragh Flannery & Cathal O’Donoghue, 2011. "The Life-cycle Impact of Alternative Higher Education Finance Systems in Ireland," The Economic and Social Review, Economic and Social Studies, vol. 42(3), pages 237-270.
    2. Mary Carey & Cathal O'Donoghue, 2013. "The Geographical Spread and the Economic Impact of Food Harvest 2020 – A Regional Perspective," Working Papers 1301, Rural Economy and Development Programme,Teagasc.
    3. Flannery, Darragh & O’Donoghue, Cathal, 2013. "The demand for higher education: A static structural approach accounting for individual heterogeneity and nesting patterns," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 34(C), pages 243-257.
    4. John Cullinan & Darragh Flannery & Sharon Walsh & Selina Mccoy, 2013. "Distance Effects, Social Class and the Decision to Participate in Higher Education in Ireland," The Economic and Social Review, Economic and Social Studies, vol. 44(1), pages 19-51.
    5. Alam, Khorshed & Mamun, Shamsul Arifeen Khan, 2016. "The relationship between labour force status and educational attainment: Evidence from a system of simultaneous equations model," Economic Analysis and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 52(C), pages 55-65.
    6. Wales, Philip, 2013. "Access all areas? The impact of fees and background on student demand for postgraduate higher education in the UK," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 57846, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    7. Sievertsen, Hans Henrik, 2016. "Local unemployment and the timing of post-secondary schooling," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 50(C), pages 17-28.
    8. Flannery, Darragh & O'Donoghue, Cathal, 2009. "Participation in Higher Education: A Random Parameter Logit Approach with Policy Simulations," IZA Discussion Papers 4163, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    9. Philip Wales, 2013. "Access All Areas? The Impact of Fees and Background on Student Demand for Postgraduate Higher Education in the UK," SERC Discussion Papers 0128, Spatial Economics Research Centre, LSE.
    10. Darragh Flannery & John Cullinan, 2013. "Where they go, what they do and why it matters: The importance of geographic accessibility and social class for decisions relating to higher education institution type, degree level and field of study," Working Papers WP042013, University of Limerick, Department of Economics, revised May 2013.
    11. Darragh Flannery & Cathal O'Donoghue, 2016. "Utilizing Microsimulation to Estimate the Private and Fiscal Returns to Education: Ireland 1987–2011," Manchester School, University of Manchester, vol. 84(1), pages 55-80, January.

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