IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/red/issued/17-9.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Factors Affecting College Attainment and Student Ability in the U.S. since 1900

Author

Listed:
  • Kevin Donovan

    (Yale University)

  • Christopher Herrington

    (Virginia Commonwealth University)

Abstract

We develop a dynamic lifecycle model to study long-run changes in college completion and the relative ability of college versus non-college students in the early twentieth century. The model is disciplined in part by constructing a historical time series on real college costs from printed government documents dating to 1916. The model captures nearly all of the increase in attainment and ability sorting between college and non-college individuals between the 1900 to 1950 birth cohorts. Time variation in college costs, the college earnings premium, and the precision of ability signals all play a critical role for explaining different data moments and time periods, primarily through their interaction with binding borrowing constraints. Our quantitative results imply that attainment is broadly driven by the interaction of changing real college costs and the rising earnings premium, while ability sorting is driven by the earnings premium and increasing precision of ability signals. (Copyright: Elsevier)

Suggested Citation

  • Kevin Donovan & Christopher Herrington, 2019. "Factors Affecting College Attainment and Student Ability in the U.S. since 1900," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 31, pages 224-244, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:red:issued:17-9
    DOI: 10.1016/j.red.2018.07.003
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.red.2018.07.003
    Download Restriction: Access to full texts is restricted to ScienceDirect subscribers and institutional members. See http://www.sciencedirect.com/ for details.

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version below or search for a different version of it.

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Oksana Leukhina & Lutz A. Hendricks, 2011. "The Return to College: Selection Bias and Dropout Risk," 2011 Meeting Papers 311, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    2. Hendricks, Lutz & Schoellman, Todd, 2014. "Student abilities during the expansion of US education," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 63(C), pages 19-36.
    3. John Bound & Michael F. Lovenheim & Sarah Turner, 2010. "Why Have College Completion Rates Declined? An Analysis of Changing Student Preparation and Collegiate Resources," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 2(3), pages 129-157, July.
    4. Rui Castro & Daniele Coen-Pirani, 2016. "Explaining the Evolution of Educational Attainment in the United States," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 8(3), pages 77-112, July.
    5. Felicia Ionescu, 2009. "The Federal Student Loan Program: Quantitative Implications for College Enrollment and Default Rates," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 12(1), pages 205-231, January.
    6. Keller, Elisa, 2014. "The slowdown in American educational attainment," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 46(C), pages 252-270.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

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


    Cited by:

    1. Hendricks, Lutz & Herrington, Christopher & Schoellman, Todd, 2018. "College Access and Attendance Patterns: A Long-Run View," Working Papers 10, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, Opportunity and Inclusive Growth Institute.
    2. Lutz Hendricks & Christopher Herrington & Todd Schoellman, 2016. "The Changing Roles of Family Income and Academic Ability for US College Attendance," Working Papers 1602, VCU School of Business, Department of Economics, revised Apr 2017.
    3. Todd Schoellman & Christopher Herrington & Lutz Hendricks, 2015. "Family Background, Academic Ability, and College Decisions in the 20th Century U.S," 2015 Meeting Papers 465, Society for Economic Dynamics.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    College attainment; Student ability; Bowworing constraints; College costs; Education premia;

    JEL classification:

    • I2 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • N31 - Economic History - - Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Welfare, Income, Wealth, Religion, and Philanthropy - - - U.S.; Canada: Pre-1913

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    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:red:issued:17-9. 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: (Christian Zimmermann). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/sedddea.html .

    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 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.

    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.