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Participation and study decisions in a public system of higher education

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  • Stijn Kelchtermans
  • Frank Verboven

Abstract

We analyze the decision whether to participate and where and what to study in a public system of higher education, based on a unique dataset of all eligible high school pupils in an essentially closed region (Flanders). We find that pupils perceive the available institutions and programs as close substitutes relative to the outside option. This implies an ambiguous role for travel costs: they hardly affect the participation decision, but have a strong impact on the decision where and what to study. To illustrate how our empirical results can inform the debate on reforming public systems, we assess the effects of tuition fee increases. Uniform cost-based tuition fee increases achieve most of the welfare gains; the additional gains from fee differentiation are relatively limited. These welfare gains are quite large under conservative assumptions on the social cost of public funds, and there is a substantial redistribution from students to outsiders. Copyright © 2009 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Suggested Citation

  • Stijn Kelchtermans & Frank Verboven, 2010. "Participation and study decisions in a public system of higher education," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 25(3), pages 355-391.
  • Handle: RePEc:jae:japmet:v:25:y:2010:i:3:p:355-391
    DOI: 10.1002/jae.1087
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Chu-Ping C. Vijverberg & Wim P. M. Vijverberg, 2016. "Pregibit: a family of binary choice models," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 50(3), pages 901-932, May.
    2. De Fraja, Gianni & Valbonesi, Paola, 2012. "The design of the university system," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 96(3), pages 317-330.
    3. Cantillon, B. & De Ridder, A. & Vanhaecht, E. & Verbist, G., 2011. "(Un)desirable effects of output funding for Flemish universities," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 30(5), pages 1059-1072, October.
    4. Bea Cantillon & Annemieke De Ridder & Eva Vanhaecht & Gerlinde Verbist, 2010. "(Un)desirable Effects of Output Funding for Flemish Universities," Working Papers 1005, Herman Deleeck Centre for Social Policy, University of Antwerp.
    5. Vijverberg, Chu-Ping C. & Vijverberg, Wim P., 2012. "Pregibit: A Family of Discrete Choice Models," IZA Discussion Papers 6359, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    6. Stefano STAFFOLANI & Claudia PIGINI, 2012. "Enrolment Decision and University Choice;of Italian Secondary School Graduates," Working Papers 380, Universita' Politecnica delle Marche (I), Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche e Sociali.

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