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Differential Pricing in Undergraduate Education: Effects on Degree Production by Field

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  • Kevin Stange

Abstract

In the face of declining state support, many universities have introduced differential pricing by undergraduate program as an alternative to across‐the‐board tuition increases. This practice aligns price more closely with instructional costs and students’ ability to pay postgraduation. Exploiting the staggered adoption of these policies across universities, this paper finds that differential pricing does alter the share of students studying engineering and possibly business. There is some evidence that student groups already underrepresented in certain fields are particularly affected by the new pricing policies. Price does appear to be a policy lever through which state governments can alter the allocation of students to majors and thus the field composition of the workforce.

Suggested Citation

  • Kevin Stange, 2015. "Differential Pricing in Undergraduate Education: Effects on Degree Production by Field," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 34(1), pages 107-135, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:wly:jpamgt:v:34:y:2015:i:1:p:107-135
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1002/pam.21803
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    Cited by:

    1. Luc Bridet & Margaret Leighton, 2015. "The Major Decision: Labor Market Implications of the Timing of Specialization in College," Discussion Paper Series, Department of Economics 201510, Department of Economics, University of St. Andrews.
    2. Peter Arcidiacono & Esteban M. Aucejo & V. Joseph Hotz, 2016. "University Differences in the Graduation of Minorities in STEM Fields: Evidence from California," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 106(3), pages 525-562, March.
    3. Rodney Andrews & Kevin Stange, 2016. "Price Regulation, Price Discrimination, and Equality of Opportunity in Higher Education: Evidence from Texas," NBER Working Papers 22901, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. repec:bla:coecpo:v:35:y:2017:i:4:p:603-614 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Avery, Christopher & Gurantz, Oded & Hurwitz, Michael & Smith, Jonathan, 2016. "Shifting College Majors in Response to Advanced Placement Exam Scores," Working Paper Series rwp16-058, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
    6. Burer, Samuel & Fethke, Gary, 2016. "Nearly-efficient tuitions and subsidies in American public higher education," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 55(C), pages 182-197.
    7. repec:tpr:edfpol:v:12:y:2017:i:3:p:342-368 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Steven W. Hemelt & Kevin M. Stange, 2014. "Marginal Pricing and Student Investment in Higher Education," NBER Working Papers 20779, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. John V. Winters, 2017. "Do Native STEM Graduates Increase Innovation? Evidence from U.S. Metropolitan Areas," Economics Working Paper Series 1714, Oklahoma State University, Department of Economics and Legal Studies in Business.
    10. Ozan Jaquette & Edna Parra, 2016. "The Problem with the Delta Cost Project Database," Research in Higher Education, Springer;Association for Institutional Research, vol. 57(5), pages 630-651, August.
    11. Joseph G. Altonji & Peter Arcidiacono & Arnaud Maurel, 2015. "The Analysis of Field Choice in College and Graduate School: Determinants and Wage Effects," NBER Working Papers 21655, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    12. Abel, Jaison R. & Deitz, Richard, 2013. "Do the benefits of college still outweigh the costs?," Current Issues in Economics and Finance, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, vol. 20.
    13. Winters, John V., 2014. "Foreign and Native-Born STEM Graduates and Innovation Intensity in the United States," IZA Discussion Papers 8575, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • I20 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - General
    • I22 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Educational Finance; Financial Aid
    • I28 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Government Policy
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity

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