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Access All Areas? The Impact of Fees and Background on Student Demand for Postgraduate Higher Education in the UK

  • Philip Wales
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    This paper analyses participation in postgraduate higher education in the UK at the micro-level makes several contributions to the literature. Firstly, it describes trends in postgraduate participation in the UK. Secondly, it introduces a hitherto unavailable dataset of postgraduate tuition fees by institution and subject: the first of its kind. Thirdly, it attempts to control for several potential forms of endogeneity to assess the extent to which tuition fees affect demand. It adopts an instrumental variables approach to partially control for the potential endogeneity of tuition fees and includes a broad array of fixed effects to mitigate the impact of sorting into universities and endogenous residential selection. The results suggest that (1) there is substantial variation in tuition fees across and within institutions and that (2) tuition fees reduce demand for postgraduate places. In our preferred specification a 10% increase in tuition fees reduces the probability of progression by 1.7%.

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    File URL: http://www.spatialeconomics.ac.uk/textonly/SERC/publications/download/sercdp0128.pdf
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    Paper provided by Spatial Economics Research Centre, LSE in its series SERC Discussion Papers with number 0128.

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    Date of creation: Feb 2013
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    Handle: RePEc:cep:sercdp:0128
    Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.spatialeconomics.ac.uk/SERC/publications/default.asp

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    1. Patricia Rice, 1999. "The impact of local labour markets on investment in further education: Evidence from the England and Wales youth cohort studies," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 12(2), pages 287-312.
    2. Dan A. Black & Jeffrey Smith, 2003. "How Robust is the Evidence on the Effects of College Quality? Evidence From Matching," University of Western Ontario, CIBC Centre for Human Capital and Productivity Working Papers 20033, University of Western Ontario, CIBC Centre for Human Capital and Productivity.
    3. Susan M. Dynarski, 1999. "Does Aid Matter? Measuring the Effect of Student Aid on College Attendance and Completion," NBER Working Papers 7422, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    5. Christofides, Louis N. & Hoy, Michael & Yang, Ling, 2010. "Participation in Canadian Universities: The gender imbalance (1977-2005)," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 29(3), pages 400-410, June.
    6. Arcidiacono, Peter, 2004. "Ability sorting and the returns to college major," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 121(1-2), pages 343-375.
    7. Smith, Jeremy & Naylor, Robin, 2005. "Schooling effects on subsequent university performance: evidence for the UK university population," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 24(5), pages 549-562, October.
    8. Soo, Kwok Tong & Elliott, Caroline, 2010. "Does price matter? Overseas students in UK higher education," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 29(4), pages 553-565, August.
    9. Susan Dynarski, 2005. "Building the Stock of College-Educated Labor," NBER Working Papers 11604, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. Chapman, Bruce, 1997. "Conceptual Issues and the Australian Experience with Income Contingent Charges for Higher Education," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 107(442), pages 738-51, May.
    11. Chapman, Bruce & Ryan, Chris, 2005. "The access implications of income-contingent charges for higher education: lessons from Australia," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 24(5), pages 491-512, October.
    12. Flannery, Darragh & O'Donoghue, Cathal, 2009. "The Determinants of Higher Education Participation in Ireland: A Micro Analysis," The Economic and Social Review, Economic and Social Studies, vol. 40(1), pages 73-107.
    13. Thomas Kane, 2004. "Evaluating the Impact of the D.C. Tuition Assistance Grant Program," NBER Working Papers 10658, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    14. Alessandra Faggian & Philip McCann, 2009. "Human capital, graduate migration and innovation in British regions," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 33(2), pages 317-333, March.
    15. Ehrenberg, R.G.Ronald G., 2004. "Econometric studies of higher education," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 121(1-2), pages 19-37.
    16. Alessandra Faggian & Philip McCann, 2006. "Human capital flows and regional knowledge assets: a simultaneous equation approach," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 58(3), pages 475-500, July.
    17. Caroline M. Hoxby, 1997. "How the Changing Market Structure of U.S. Higher Education Explains College Tuition," NBER Working Papers 6323, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    18. Alessandra Faggian & Philip McCann & Stephen Sheppard, 2006. "An analysis of ethnic differences in UK graduate migration behaviour," The Annals of Regional Science, Springer, vol. 40(2), pages 461-471, June.
    19. Jo Blanden & Stephen Machin, 2004. "Educational Inequality and the Expansion of UK Higher Education," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 51(2), pages 230-249, 05.
    20. Fernando Galindo-Rueda & Oscar Marcenaro & Anna Vignoles, 2004. "The Widening Socio-Economic Gap in UK Higher Education," CEE Discussion Papers 0044, Centre for the Economics of Education, LSE.
    21. Robin Naylor & Jeremy Smith, 2004. "Degree performance of Economics students in UK universities: absolute and relative performance in prior qualifications," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 51(2), pages 250-265, 05.
    22. Long, Mark C., 2008. "College quality and early adult outcomes," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 27(5), pages 588-602, October.
    23. Alessandra Faggian & Philip McCann & Stephen Sheppard, 2007. "Some Evidence That Women Are More Mobile Than Men: Gender Differences In U.K. Graduate Migration Behavior," Journal of Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 47(3), pages 517-539.
    24. Thomas J. Kane, 2003. "A Quasi-Experimental Estimate of the Impact of Financial Aid on College-Going," NBER Working Papers 9703, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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