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College Cost and Time to Complete a Degree: Evidence from Tuition Discontinuities

  • Pietro Garibaldi

    (University of Torino, Collegio Carlo Alberto, CEPR, and IZA)

  • Francesco Giavazzi

    (Bocconi University, MIT, NBER, and CEPR)

  • Andrea Ichino

    (University of Bologna, CEPR, CESifo, and IZA)

  • Enrico Rettore

    (University of Padova and IRVAPP)

University tuition typically remains constant throughout the years of enrollment while delayed degree completion is increasingly a problem for academic institutions around the world. Theory suggests that if continuation tuition were raised, the probability of late graduation would be reduced. Using a regression discontinuity design on data from Bocconi University in Italy, we show that a 1,000 euro increase in continuation tuition reduces the probability of late graduation by 5.2% when the benchmark probability is 80%. This decline is not associated with an increase in the dropout rate or a fall in the quality of students performance. © 2012 The President and Fellows of Harvard College and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

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Article provided by MIT Press in its journal Review of Economics and Statistics.

Volume (Year): 94 (2012)
Issue (Month): 3 (August)
Pages: 699-711

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Handle: RePEc:tpr:restat:v:94:y:2012:i:3:p:699-711
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