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Socio-Economic Gaps in University Enrollment: The Role of Perceived Pecuniary and Non-Pecuniary Returns

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  • Teodora Boneva
  • Christopher Rauh

Abstract

To understand the socio-economic enrollment gap in university attendance, we elicit students’ beliefs about the benefits of university education in a sample of 2,540 secondary school students. Our choice model estimates reveal that perceived non-pecuniary benefits explain a large share of the variation in intentions to enroll. Expected job satisfaction, parental approval, and perceptions about social life during the 3-4 years after finishing secondary school are most important. Students with low socio-economic status perceive pecuniary and non-pecuniary returns to be lower. Beliefs explain 48% of the socio-economic gap in intentions to enroll, while perceived non-pecuniary returns alone account for 37%.

Suggested Citation

  • Teodora Boneva & Christopher Rauh, 2017. "Socio-Economic Gaps in University Enrollment: The Role of Perceived Pecuniary and Non-Pecuniary Returns," CESifo Working Paper Series 6756, CESifo Group Munich.
  • Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_6756
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    Cited by:

    1. Elisabeth Grewenig & Philipp Lergetporer & Katharina Werner & Ludger Wößmann & Ludger Woessmann, 2019. "Incentives, search engines, and the elicitation of subjective beliefs: evidence from representative online survey experiments," CESifo Working Paper Series 7556, CESifo Group Munich.
    2. Zimmermann, Markus, 2019. "Explaining Gaps in Educational Transitions Between Migrant and Native School Leavers," Rationality and Competition Discussion Paper Series 156, CRC TRR 190 Rationality and Competition.
    3. Orazio Attanasio & Teodora Boneva & Christopher Rauh, 2018. "Parental Beliefs about Returns to Different Types of Investments in School Children," Working Papers 2018-032, Human Capital and Economic Opportunity Working Group.
    4. Jonas Jessen & Sophia Schmitz & Sevrin Waights, 2019. "Understanding Day Care Enrolment Gaps," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 1808, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
    5. Ana Figueiredo, 2018. "Information Frictions in Education and Inequality," 2018 Meeting Papers 804, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    6. Frauke H. Peter & C. Katharina Spieß & Vaishali Zambre, 2018. "Informing Students about College: An Efficient Way to Decrease the Socio-Economic Gap in Enrollment: Evidence from a Randomized Field Experiment," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 1770, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
    7. Lukas Kiessling & Pia Pinger & Philipp Seegers & Jan Bergerhoff, 2019. "Gender Differences in Wage Expectations: Sorting, Children, and Negotiation Styles," CESifo Working Paper Series 7827, CESifo Group Munich.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    higher education; beliefs; socio-economic inequality; intergenerational mobility;

    JEL classification:

    • I24 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Education and Inequality
    • I26 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Returns to Education
    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • J62 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Job, Occupational and Intergenerational Mobility; Promotion

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