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Does Accessibility to Higher Education Matter? Choice Behaviour of High School Graduates in the Netherlands


  • Carla Sá
  • Raymond Florax
  • Piet Rietveld


Abstract This paper identifies pivotal factors behind individual decision making in the transition from high school to post-secondary education in the Netherlands. We apply a multinomial logit framework to individual data and accommodate two types of effects that have not received much attention in the literature. First, we analyse the impact of geographical accessibility of the higher education system. Second, we allow the individual observations to be correlated within schools, in effect accounting for localized social interactions. Our results confirm the paramount influence of the student's track record and talent. The results, however, also show that geographical proximity significantly increases the probability of high school leavers continuing their education at a university or professional college.

Suggested Citation

  • Carla Sá & Raymond Florax & Piet Rietveld, 2006. "Does Accessibility to Higher Education Matter? Choice Behaviour of High School Graduates in the Netherlands," Spatial Economic Analysis, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 1(2), pages 155-174.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:specan:v:1:y:2006:i:2:p:155-174 DOI: 10.1080/17421770601009791

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Michal Franta & Martin Guzi, 2008. "Unequal Access to Higher Education in the Czech Republic: The Role of Spatial Distribution of Universities," CERGE-EI Working Papers wp350, The Center for Economic Research and Graduate Education - Economics Institute, Prague.
    2. Falch, Torberg & Lujala, Päivi & Strøm, Bjarne, 2013. "Geographical constraints and educational attainment," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(1), pages 164-176.
    3. Steve Gibbons & Anna Vignoles, 2009. "Access, Choice and Participation in Higher Education," CEE Discussion Papers 0101, Centre for the Economics of Education, LSE.
    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. Patrizia Ordine & Claudio Lupi, 2009. "Family Income and Students' Mobility," Giornale degli Economisti, GDE (Giornale degli Economisti e Annali di Economia), Bocconi University, vol. 68(1), pages 1-23, April.
    6. B. Cesi & D. Paolini, 2011. "University choice, peer group and distance," Working Paper CRENoS 201101, Centre for North South Economic Research, University of Cagliari and Sassari, Sardinia.
    7. Berardino Cesi & Dimitri Paolini, 2014. "Peer Group and Distance: When Widening University Participation is Better," Manchester School, University of Manchester, vol. 82, pages 110-132, December.
    8. Sørensen, Elise Stenholt & Høst, Anders Kamp, 2015. "Does distance determine who is in higher education?," MPRA Paper 74517, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    9. 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.
    10. Małgorzata Kłobuszewska & Magdalena Rokicka, 2016. "Do local characteristics matter? Secondary school track choice in Poland," Ekonomia journal, Faculty of Economic Sciences, University of Warsaw, vol. 45.
    11. Kobus, Martijn B.W. & Van Ommeren, Jos N. & Rietveld, Piet, 2015. "Student commute time, university presence and academic achievement," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(C), pages 129-140.

    More about this item


    High school graduates; higher education; social interaction; geographical accessibility; C25; I21; R10;

    JEL classification:

    • C25 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Discrete Regression and Qualitative Choice Models; Discrete Regressors; Proportions; Probabilities
    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education
    • R10 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - General


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