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College completion gaps between blacks and whites: what accounts for regional differences

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  • Yolanda K. Kodrzycki

Abstract

The educational gap between blacks and whites in the United States is wide and widening at the college graduate level. A less known fact is that the size of this gap differs across the various regions of the country. The difference is especially great for the Northeast, an area known for high average educational achievement. ; This paper explores the reasons for the differential college completion gaps by race across regions, focusing chiefly on adults between the ages of 25 and 34. Two hypotheses are explored. One is that differential incidence by region of factors determining access to a college education is the principal determinant of the variation in the magnitude of the gaps. The other is that regional college completion gaps reflect ongoing differences among the regions in location preferences between blacks and whites. ; The study concludes that variation across regions in college completion gaps between blacks and whites is a product both of differences in past factors affecting access to college and of ongoing differences in location preferences of black and white adults.

Suggested Citation

  • Yolanda K. Kodrzycki, 2004. "College completion gaps between blacks and whites: what accounts for regional differences," New England Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, pages 37-62.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedbne:y:2004:p:37-62
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Thomas J. Kane, 1995. "Rising Public College Tuition and College Entry: How Well Do Public Subsidies Promote Access to College?," NBER Working Papers 5164, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Katharine Bradbury, 1996. "Growing inequality of family incomes: changing families and changing wages," New England Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, issue Jul, pages 55-82.
    3. Sarah Turner, 2004. "Going to College and Finishing College.Explaining Different Educational Outcomes," NBER Chapters,in: College Choices: The Economics of Where to Go, When to Go, and How to Pay For It, pages 13-62 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Turner, Sarah & Bound, John, 2003. "Closing the Gap or Widening the Divide: The Effects of the G.I. Bill and World War II on the Educational Outcomes of Black Americans," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 63(01), pages 145-177, March.
    5. Carneiro, Pedro & Heckman, James J., 2003. "Human Capital Policy," IZA Discussion Papers 821, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    6. Michael A. Boozer & Alan B. Krueger & Shari Wolkon, 1992. "Race and School Quality Since Brown vs. Board of Education," Working Papers 681, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
    7. Sandra E. Black & Amir Sufi, 2002. "Who Goes to College? Differential Enrollment by Race and Family Background," NBER Working Papers 9310, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. David M. Linsenmeier & Harvey S. Rosen & Cecilia Elena Rouse, 2006. "Financial Aid Packages and College Enrollment Decisions: An Econometric Case Study," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 88(1), pages 126-145, February.
    9. Smith, James P & Welch, Finis R, 1989. "Black Economic Progress after Myrdal," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 27(2), pages 519-564, June.
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