IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/fip/fedbwp/11-8.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

On the distribution of college dropouts: household wealth and uninsurable idiosyncratic risk

Author

Listed:
  • Ali K. Ozdagli
  • Nicholas Trachter

Abstract

This paper presents a dynamic model of the decision to pursue a college education in which students face uncertainty about their future income stream after graduation due to unobserved heterogeneity in their innate scholastic ability. After students matriculate and start taking exams, they reevaluate their expectations about succeeding in college and may find it optimal to drop out and join the workforce without completing an undergraduate degree. The model shows that, in accordance with the data, poorer students are less likely to graduate and are more apt to drop out earlier than are wealthier students. Our model generates these results without introducing credit constraints. Conditioning on measures of innate ability, in the data we find that poor students are at least 27 percent more likely to drop out of college and they do so sooner than wealthier students.

Suggested Citation

  • Ali K. Ozdagli & Nicholas Trachter, 2011. "On the distribution of college dropouts: household wealth and uninsurable idiosyncratic risk," Working Papers 11-8, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedbwp:11-8
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.bostonfed.org/economic/wp/wp2011/wp1108.htm
    Download Restriction: no

    File URL: http://www.bostonfed.org/economic/wp/wp2011/wp1108.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Ralph Stinebrickner & Todd Stinebrickner, 2008. "The Effect of Credit Constraints on the College Drop-Out Decision: A Direct Approach Using a New Panel Study," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(5), pages 2163-2184, December.
    2. Jacob A. Mincer, 1974. "Introduction to "Schooling, Experience, and Earnings"," NBER Chapters,in: Schooling, Experience, and Earnings, pages 1-4 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. S. Rao Aiyagari, 1994. "Uninsured Idiosyncratic Risk and Aggregate Saving," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 109(3), pages 659-684.
    4. Todd Stinebrickner & Ralph Stinebrickner, 2012. "Learning about Academic Ability and the College Dropout Decision," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 30(4), pages 707-748.
    5. Stacey H. Chen, 2008. "Estimating the Variance of Wages in the Presence of Selection and Unobserved Heterogeneity," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 90(2), pages 275-289, May.
    6. Nicholas Trachter, 2011. "Option Value and Transitions in a Model of Postsecondary Education," EIEF Working Papers Series 1103, Einaudi Institute for Economics and Finance (EIEF), revised Jan 2011.
    7. Nelson, Daniel B & Foster, Dean P, 1994. "Asymptotic Filtering Theory for Univariate ARCH Models," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 62(1), pages 1-41, January.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Urvi Neelakantan & Ivan Vidangos & Felicia Ionescu & Kartik Athreya, 2016. "Investment Opportunities and the Sources of Lifetime Inequality," 2016 Meeting Papers 1177, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    2. Urvi Neelakantan & Felicia Ionescu & Kartik Athreya, 2015. "Learn Now, Save Later: College and Household Portfolios," 2015 Meeting Papers 804, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    3. Urvi Neelakantan & Felicia Ionescu & Kartik Athreya, 2014. "Risky, Lumpy Human Capital in Household Portfolios," 2014 Meeting Papers 1242, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    4. Ozdagli, Ali K. & Trachter, Nicholas, 2014. "The Dropout Option in a Simple Model of College Education," Economic Quarterly, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, issue 4Q, pages 279-295.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    College graduates ; Education - Economic aspects;

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:fip:fedbwp:11-8. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Catherine Spozio). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/frbbous.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.