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Equilibrium Tuition, Applications, Admissions and Enrollment in the College Market

  • Chao Fu


    (University of Wisconsin, Department of Economics)

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    I develop and estimate a structural equilibrium model of the college market. Students, having heterogeneous abilities and preferences, make college application decisions, subject to uncertainty and application costs. Colleges, observing only noisy measures of student ability, choose tuition and admissions policies to compete for more able students. Tuition, applications, admissions and enrollment are joint outcomes from a subgame perfect Nash equilibrium. I estimate the structural parameters of the model using data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1997, via a three-step procedure to deal with potential multiple equilibria. In counterfactual experiments, I use the model first to examine the extent to which college enrollment can be increased by expanding the supply of colleges, and then to assess the importance of various measures of student ability.

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    File Function: First version, January 2012
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    Paper provided by Human Capital and Economic Opportunity Working Group in its series Working Papers with number 2012-002.

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    Date of creation: Jan 2012
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    Handle: RePEc:hka:wpaper:2012-002
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    1. Andrea Moro, 2003. "The Effect Of Statistical Discrimination On Black-White Wage Inequality: Estimating A Model With Multiple Equilibria," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 44(2), pages 467-500, 05.
    2. Jessica S. Howell, 2010. "Assessing the Impact of Eliminating Affirmative Action in Higher Education," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 28(1), pages 113-166, 01.
    3. Chade, H. & Lewis, Gregory & Smith, L., 2014. "Student Portfolios and the College Admissions Problem," Scholarly Articles 12363836, Harvard University Department of Economics.
    4. Stacy Berg Dale & Alan B. Krueger, 1999. "Estimating the Payoff to Attending a More Selective College: An Application of Selection on Observables and Unobservables," Mathematica Policy Research Reports 4bafb729911e486baf90b34c9, Mathematica Policy Research.
    5. Peter Arcidiacono & Sean Nicholson, 2002. "Peer Effects in Medical School," NBER Working Papers 9025, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Mailath George J. & Okuno-Fujiwara Masahiro & Postlewaite Andrew, 1993. "Belief-Based Refinements in Signalling Games," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 60(2), pages 241-276, August.
    7. Dennis Epple & Richard Romano & Holger Sieg, . "Admission, Tuition, and Financial Aid Policies in the Market for Higher Education," GSIA Working Papers 2003-04, Carnegie Mellon University, Tepper School of Business.
    8. Peter Arcidiacono, 2005. "Affirmative Action in Higher Education: How Do Admission and Financial Aid Rules Affect Future Earnings?," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 73(5), pages 1477-1524, 09.
    9. Erik Meijer & Jelmer Ypma, 2008. "A Simple Identification Proof for a Mixture of Two Univariate Normal Distributions," Journal of Classification, Springer;The Classification Society, vol. 25(1), pages 113-123, June.
    10. Christopher Avery & Jonathan D. Levin, 2009. "Early Admissions at Selective Colleges," NBER Working Papers 14844, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    11. Keane, Michael P & Wolpin, Kenneth I, 2001. "The Effect of Parental Transfers and Borrowing Constraints on Educational Attainment," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 42(4), pages 1051-1103, November.
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