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The Dynamics of Educational Attainment for Black, Hispanic, and White Males

  • Stephen V. Cameron
  • James J. Heckman

This paper estimates a dynamic model of schooling attainment to investigate the sources of racial and ethnic disparity in college attendance. Parental income in the child's adolescent years is a strong predictor of this disparity. This is widely interpreted to mean that credit constraints facing families during the college-going years are important. Using NLSY data, we find that it is the long-run factors associated with parental background and family environment, and not credit constraints facing prospective students in the college-going years, that account for most of the racial-ethnic college-going differential. Policies aimed at improving these long-term family and environmental factors are more likely to be successful in eliminating college attendance differentials than short-term tuition reduction and family income supplement policies aimed at families with college age children.

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Article provided by University of Chicago Press in its journal Journal of Political Economy.

Volume (Year): 109 (2001)
Issue (Month): 3 (June)
Pages: 455-499

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Handle: RePEc:ucp:jpolec:v:109:y:2001:i:3:p:455-499
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.journals.uchicago.edu/JPE/

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