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The Consequences of Academic Match between Students and Colleges

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  • Eleanor Wiske Dillon
  • Jeffrey Andrew Smith

Abstract

We consider the effects of student ability, college quality, and the interaction between the two on academic outcomes and future earnings using data on two cohorts of college enrollees drawn from the NLSY-79 and the NLSY-97. We find that student sorting has increased modestly between cohorts, and that student ability and college quality strongly improve degree completion and earnings. These patterns imply that, on average, students benefit from “overmatch” of the sort generated by affirmative action in admissions. We find little evidence of match effects on degree completion at eight years or on STEM degree completion, but suggestive evidence of some complementarity between student ability and college quality in degree completion at four years and long-term earnings. Such complementarity implies a tradeoff between equity and efficiency for policies that move lower ability students to higher quality colleges.

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  • Eleanor Wiske Dillon & Jeffrey Andrew Smith, 2017. "The Consequences of Academic Match between Students and Colleges," CESifo Working Paper Series 6344, CESifo.
  • Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_6344
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    Cited by:

    1. Volker Meier & Ioana Cosmina Schiopu, 2015. "Why Academic Quality in Higher Education Declines," CESifo Working Paper Series 5480, CESifo.
    2. Sandra E. Black & Kalena E. Cortes & Jane Arnold Lincove, 2020. "Apply Yourself: Racial and Ethnic Differences in College Application," Education Finance and Policy, MIT Press, vol. 15(2), pages 209-240, Spring.
    3. Djurdjica Perovic & Dijana Vuckovic, 2019. "Success in Studying at the University of Montenegro: Is there Hyper-production of Diplomas?," Interdisciplinary Description of Complex Systems - scientific journal, Croatian Interdisciplinary Society Provider Homepage: http://indecs.eu, vol. 17(2-B), pages 385-402.
    4. Lincove, Jane Arnold & Cortes, Kalena E., 2016. "Match or Mismatch? Automatic Admissions and College Preferences of Low- and High-Income Students," IZA Discussion Papers 10150, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    5. James J. Heckman & John Eric Humphries & Gregory Veramendi, 2018. "Returns to Education: The Causal Effects of Education on Earnings, Health, and Smoking," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 126(S1), pages 197-246.
    6. Ha, Wei & Kang, Le & Song, Yang, 2020. "College matching mechanisms and matching stability: Evidence from a natural experiment in China," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 175(C), pages 206-226.
    7. Campbell, Stuart & Macmillan, Lindsey & Murphy, Richard & Wyness, Gill, 2019. "Inequalities in student to course match: evidence from linked administrative data," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 103413, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    8. Jack Mountjoy & Brent Hickman, 2020. "The Returns to College(s): Estimating Value-Added and Match Effects in Higher Education," Working Papers 2020-08, Becker Friedman Institute for Research In Economics.
    9. Susan Dynarski & C.J. Libassi & Katherine Michelmore & Stephanie Owen, 2018. "Closing the Gap: The Effect of a Targeted, Tuition-Free Promise on College Choices of High-Achieving, Low-Income Students," NBER Working Papers 25349, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. Jane Arnold Lincove & Kalena E. Cortes, 2016. "Match or Mismatch? Automatic Admissions and College Preferences of Low- and High-Income Students," NBER Working Papers 22559, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    11. Eleanor Wiske Dillon & Jeffrey Andrew Smith, 2013. "The Determinants of Mismatch Between Students and Colleges," NBER Working Papers 19286, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    12. Nicolás de Roux & Evan Riehl, 2019. "Isolating Peer Effects in the Returns to College Selectivity," Documentos CEDE 017413, Universidad de los Andes - CEDE.
    13. Hotz, V. Joseph & Wiemers, Emily & Rasmussen, Joshua & Maxwell Koegel, Kate, 2018. "The Role of Parental Wealth and Income in Financing Children's College Attendance and Its Consequences," IZA Discussion Papers 11842, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    14. Stuart Campbell & Lindsey Macmillan & Richard Murphy & Gill Wyness, 2020. "Matching in the Dark? Inequalities in student to degree match," CEPEO Working Paper Series 20-01, Centre for Education Policy and Equalising Opportunities, UCL Institute of Education, revised Jan 2020.
    15. Saltiel, Fernando, 2020. "Gritting it out: The importance of non-cognitive skills in academic mismatch," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 78(C).
    16. Geraint Johnes & Kwok Tong Soo, 2017. "Grades across Universities over Time," Manchester School, University of Manchester, vol. 85(1), pages 106-131, January.
    17. Meier, Volker & Schiopu, Ioana, 2020. "Enrollment expansion and quality differentiation across higher education systems," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 90(C), pages 43-53.
    18. Naihobe Gonzalez & Dan Thal, "undated". "Understanding College Match Among KIPP Northern California Students," Mathematica Policy Research Reports a1b5f5580887428192cf5a85b, Mathematica Policy Research.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    college mismatch; college quality;

    JEL classification:

    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
    • I24 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Education and Inequality

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