IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Inequality and Dropout in Higher Education in Colombia. A Multilevel Analysis of Regional Differences, Institutions, and Field of Study


  • María Inés Barbosa-Camargo

    (Facultad de Economía, Empresa y Desarrollo Sostenible, Universidad de La Salle, Bogotá 11001, Colombia)

  • Antonio García-Sánchez

    (Departamento de Economía e Historia Económica, Universidad de Sevilla, 41018 Sevilla, Spain)

  • María Luisa Ridao-Carlini

    (Departamento de Economía e Historia Económica, Universidad de Sevilla, 41018 Sevilla, Spain)


In Colombia, the gaps of regional inequalities and social opportunities permeate people’s economic, political, and social participation. Additionally, the initial endowments of individual and socioeconomic background, barriers to financial aid, and academic and personal skills restrict decision-making about studying. In this context, the main objective is to analyze the determinants of dropout rates in Colombia and the differences between the type of institutions, field of study, and regions. We used data from three public administrative agencies for the period 2000–2012. The methodology combines multiple correspondence analysis and a lineal hierarchical model to explain the effect of variables operating at different levels. As a result, we retained four dimensions to represent the individuals’ socioeconomic and financial conditions. The findings obtained from the multilevel model suggest the variation between institutions (11%) and the interaction between institutions and the program cycle (17.8%). It confirms the influence of inequities on desertion. The student chooses between programs with differences in fees and study costs in general, such as quality, social recognition, and employment. In sum, contextual and institutional disparities in the dropout phenomenon’s behavior are explained mainly by the supply conditions in these regions and the individuals’ socioeconomic backgrounds.

Suggested Citation

  • María Inés Barbosa-Camargo & Antonio García-Sánchez & María Luisa Ridao-Carlini, 2021. "Inequality and Dropout in Higher Education in Colombia. A Multilevel Analysis of Regional Differences, Institutions, and Field of Study," Mathematics, MDPI, vol. 9(24), pages 1-15, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:gam:jmathe:v:9:y:2021:i:24:p:3280-:d:704508

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Pilonato, Silvia & Monfardini, Patrizio, 2020. "Performance measurement systems in higher education: How levers of control reveal the ambiguities of reforms," The British Accounting Review, Elsevier, vol. 52(3).
    2. Melguizo, Tatiana & Sanchez, Fabio & Velasco, Tatiana, 2016. "Credit for Low-Income Students and Access to and Academic Performance in Higher Education in Colombia: A Regression Discontinuity Approach," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 80(C), pages 61-77.
    3. Navas, Lina P. & Montes, Felipe & Abolghasem, Sepideh & Salas, Ricardo J. & Toloo, Mehdi & Zarama, Roberto, 2020. "Colombian higher education institutions evaluation," Socio-Economic Planning Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 71(C).
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Alfredo Guzmán & Sandra Barragán & Favio Cala-Vitery, 2022. "Comparative Analysis of Dropout and Student Permanence in Rural Higher Education," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 14(14), pages 1-25, July.

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Chiara Oppi & Cristina Campanale & Lino Cinquini, 2021. "Il problema dell?ambiguit? nei sistemi di misurazione della performance nel settore pubblico: un?analisi della letteratura internazionale," MANAGEMENT CONTROL, FrancoAngeli Editore, vol. 2021(2), pages 11-38.
    2. Shamsa Kanwal & Abdul Hameed Pitafi & Muhammad Yousaf Malik & Naseer Abbas Khan & Rao Muhammad Rashid, 2020. "Local Pakistani Citizens’ Benefits and Attitudes Toward China–Pakistan Economic Corridor Projects," SAGE Open, , vol. 10(3), pages 21582440209, July.
    3. Tavana, Madjid & Izadikhah, Mohammad & Toloo, Mehdi & Roostaee, Razieh, 2021. "A new non-radial directional distance model for data envelopment analysis problems with negative and flexible measures," Omega, Elsevier, vol. 102(C).
    4. Marion Dovis & Patricia Augier & Clémentine Sadania, 2021. "Labor Market Shocks and Youths’ Time Allocation in Egypt: Where Does Women’s Empowerment Come In?," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 69(4), pages 1501-1540.
    5. Juliana Londoño-Vélez, 2022. "The Impact of Diversity on Perceptions of Income Distribution and Preferences for Redistribution," NBER Working Papers 30386, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Matias D. Cattaneo & Luke Keele & Rocío Titiunik & Gonzalo Vazquez-Bare, 2021. "Extrapolating Treatment Effects in Multi-Cutoff Regression Discontinuity Designs," Journal of the American Statistical Association, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 116(536), pages 1941-1952, October.
    7. Maria Ines Barbosa Camargo & Antonio García Sánchez & Mª Luisa Ridao Carlini, 2016. "Influencia de las ayudas financieras en el acceso a estudios universitarios: El caso de Colombia," Investigaciones de Economía de la Educación volume 11, in: José Manuel Cordero Ferrera & Rosa Simancas Rodríguez (ed.), Investigaciones de Economía de la Educación 11, edition 1, volume 11, chapter 4, pages 91-110, Asociación de Economía de la Educación.
    8. Zhu, Penghu & Lin, Boqiang, 2022. "Do the elderly consume more energy? Evidence from the retirement policy in urban China," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 165(C).
    9. Molina, Oswaldo & Santa María, Diego & Yamada, Gustavo, 2018. "What Stops Poor Girls from Going to College? Skill Development and Access to Higher Education in a Developing Country," IZA Discussion Papers 12052, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    10. Mulyaningsih, Tri & Dong, Sarah & Miranti, Riyana & Daly, Anne & Purwaningsih, Yunastiti, 2022. "Targeted scholarship for higher education and academic performance: Evidence from Indonesia," International Journal of Educational Development, Elsevier, vol. 88(C).
    11. Londoño-Vélez, Juliana, 2022. "The impact of diversity on perceptions of income distribution and preferences for redistribution," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 214(C).
    12. Adachi, Yoshimi & Kitamura, Tomoki, 2021. "Impact of the Financial Support Program for High School Students in Japan," MPRA Paper 106769, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    13. Bonilla-Mejía, Leonardo & Bottan, Nicolas L. & Ham, Andrés, 2019. "Information policies and higher education choices experimental evidence from Colombia," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 83(C).
    14. Hari Sharma & John Gibson, 2020. "Effects of International Migration on Child Schooling and Child Labour: Evidence from Nepal," Working Papers in Economics 20/07, University of Waikato.
    15. Gerdin, Jonas & Englund, Hans, 2022. "Vertical, horizontal, and self control in academia: Survey evidence on their diverging effects on perceived researcher autonomy and identity," The British Accounting Review, Elsevier, vol. 54(5).
    16. Graeme Harrison & Lu Jiao & Jinhua Chen, 2022. "Performance measurement systems and client performance in fee‐generating not‐for‐profit human service organisations," Accounting and Finance, Accounting and Finance Association of Australia and New Zealand, vol. 62(1), pages 931-957, March.
    17. Rodrigo Azuero & David Zarruk Valencia, 2016. "The Effects of Student Loans on the Provision and Demand for Higher Education," PIER Working Paper Archive 17-020, Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania, revised 22 Oct 2017.
    18. Ebrahimi, Bohlool & Dhamotharan, Lalitha & Ghasemi, Mohammad Reza & Charles, Vincent, 2022. "A cross-inefficiency approach based on the deviation variables framework," Omega, Elsevier, vol. 111(C).
    19. Dinarte Diaz,Lelys Ileana & Ferreyra,Maria Marta & Urzua,Sergio & Bassi,Marina, 2021. "What Makes a Program Good ? Evidence from Short-Cycle Higher Education Programs in LatinAmerica and the Caribbean," Policy Research Working Paper Series 9722, The World Bank.
    20. Cristina Gallego-Gómez & Carmen De-Pablos-Heredero & José Luis Montes-Botella, 2021. "Change of Processes in the COVID-19 Scenario: From Face-to-Face to Remote Teaching-Learning Systems," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 13(19), pages 1-11, September.


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:gam:jmathe:v:9:y:2021:i:24:p:3280-:d:704508. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: . General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: MDPI Indexing Manager (email available below). General contact details of provider: .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.