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The Effect of University Openings on Local Human Capital Formation: Difference-in-Differences Evidence from Germany

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  • Benedikt Siegler

Abstract

Between 1960 and 1979, 93 new universities opened in Germany. Using this large tertiary education expansion, I estimate the effect of a university opening on the probability of obtaining a university degree in the local population. I exploit the geographical variation in local university access in a difference-in-differences approach by comparing age cohorts in counties that were and were not affected by the opening. Results show that a new university increases the share of university graduates in a county by 8 to 10 percentage points. The effect seems to be mainly driven my females and immigrants.

Suggested Citation

  • Benedikt Siegler, 2012. "The Effect of University Openings on Local Human Capital Formation: Difference-in-Differences Evidence from Germany," Working Papers 124, Bavarian Graduate Program in Economics (BGPE).
  • Handle: RePEc:bav:wpaper:124_siegler
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    File URL: http://www.bgpe.de/texte/DP/124_Siegler.pdf
    File Function: First version, 2012
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Falck, Oliver & Fritsch, Michael & Heblich, Stephan, 2011. "The phantom of the opera: Cultural amenities, human capital, and regional economic growth," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(6), pages 755-766.
    2. Dynarski, Susan, 2000. "Hope for Whom? Financial Aid for the Middle Class and Its Impact on College Attendance," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 53(3), pages 629-662, September.
    3. Viktor Steiner & Katharina Wrohlich, 2012. "Financial Student Aid and Enrollment in Higher Education: New Evidence from Germany," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 114(1), pages 124-147, March.
    4. Moretti, Enrico, 2004. "Estimating the social return to higher education: evidence from longitudinal and repeated cross-sectional data," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 121(1-2), pages 175-212.
    5. Regina Riphahn & Florian Schieferdecker, 2012. "The transition to tertiary education and parental background over time," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 25(2), pages 635-675, January.
    6. Janet Currie & Enrico Moretti, 2003. "Mother's Education and the Intergenerational Transmission of Human Capital: Evidence from College Openings," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 118(4), pages 1495-1532.
    7. Susan M. Dynarski, 2003. "Does Aid Matter? Measuring the Effect of Student Aid on College Attendance and Completion," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(1), pages 279-288, March.
    8. Spiess, C. Katharina & Wrohlich, Katharina, 2010. "Does distance determine who attends a university in Germany?," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 29(3), pages 470-479, June.
    9. Frenette, Marc, 2009. "Do universities benefit local youth? Evidence from the creation of new universities," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 28(3), pages 318-328, June.
    10. Stephen V. Cameron & James J. Heckman, 2001. "The Dynamics of Educational Attainment for Black, Hispanic, and White Males," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 109(3), pages 455-499, June.
    11. Kane, Thomas J, 1994. "College Entry by Blacks since 1970: The Role of College Costs, Family Background, and the Returns to Education," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 102(5), pages 878-911, October.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    tertiary education; education expansion; difference-in-differences; natural experiment; new university opening;

    JEL classification:

    • I23 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Higher Education; Research Institutions
    • I28 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Government Policy
    • H75 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - State and Local Government: Health, Education, and Welfare

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