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Participation and Schooling in a Public System of Higher Education

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  • Kelchtermans, Stijn
  • Verboven, Frank

Abstract

We analyze the determinants of participation (whether to study) and schooling (where and what to study) in a public system of higher education, based on a unique dataset of all eligible high school pupils in an essentially closed region (Flanders). We find that pupils perceive the available institutions and programs as close substitutes, implying an ambiguous role for travel costs: they hardly affect the participation decisions, but have a strong impact on the schooling decisions. In addition, high school background plays an important role in both the participation and schooling decisions. To illustrate how our empirical results can inform the debate on reforming public systems, we assess the effects of tuition fee increases. Uniform cost-based tuition fee increases achieve most of the welfare gains; the additional gains from fee differentiation are relatively unimportant. These welfare gains are quite large if one makes conservative assumptions on the social cost of public funds, and there is a substantial redistribution from students to outsiders.

Suggested Citation

  • Kelchtermans, Stijn & Verboven, Frank, 2006. "Participation and Schooling in a Public System of Higher Education," CEPR Discussion Papers 5690, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:5690
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Bas Jacobs & Frederick Van Der Ploeg, 2006. "Guide to reform of higher education: a European perspective," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 21(47), pages 535-592, July.
    2. Thomas J. Kane, 1995. "Rising Public College Tuition and College Entry: How Well Do Public Subsidies Promote Access to College?," NBER Working Papers 5164, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Terry Long, B.Bridget, 2004. "How have college decisions changed over time? An application of the conditional logistic choice model," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 121(1-2), pages 271-296.
    4. 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.
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    8. Murphy, Kevin M & Topel, Robert H, 2002. "Estimation and Inference in Two-Step Econometric Models," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 20(1), pages 88-97, January.
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    Cited by:

    1. Kelchtermans, Stijn & Verboven, Frank, 2007. "Reducing Product Diversity in Higher Education," CEPR Discussion Papers 6508, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    higher education; participation; policy reform; schooling;

    JEL classification:

    • I2 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education
    • I23 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Higher Education; Research Institutions

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