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Do Tuition Fees Affect the Mobility of University Applicants? Evidence from a Natural Experiment

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  • Dwenger, Nadja

    () (DIW Berlin)

  • Storck, Johanna

    () (DIW Berlin)

  • Wrohlich, Katharina

    () (DIW Berlin)

Abstract

Several German states recently introduced tuition fees for university education. We investigate whether these tuition fees influence the mobility of university applicants. Based on administrative data of applicants for medical schools in Germany, we estimate the effect of tuition fees on the probability of applying for a university in the home state. We find a small but significant reaction: The probability of applying for a university in the home state falls by 2 percentage points (baseline: 69%) for high-school graduates who come from a state with tuition fees. Moreover, we find that students with lower high-school grades react more strongly to tuition fees. This might have important effects on the composition of students across states.

Suggested Citation

  • Dwenger, Nadja & Storck, Johanna & Wrohlich, Katharina, 2009. "Do Tuition Fees Affect the Mobility of University Applicants? Evidence from a Natural Experiment," IZA Discussion Papers 4421, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp4421
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Kemnitz, Alexander, 2005. "Educational Federalism and the Quality Effects of Tuition Fees," Discussion Papers 617, Institut fuer Volkswirtschaftslehre und Statistik, Abteilung fuer Volkswirtschaftslehre.
    2. Braun Sebastian & Dwenger Nadja & Kübler Dorothea, 2010. "Telling the Truth May Not Pay Off: An Empirical Study of Centralized University Admissions in Germany," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 10(1), pages 1-38, March.
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    8. Spiess, C. Katharina & Wrohlich, Katharina, 2010. "Does distance determine who attends a university in Germany?," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 29(3), pages 470-479, June.
    9. Michael Rizzo & Ronald G. Ehrenberg, 2004. "Resident and Nonresident Tuition and Enrollment at Flagship State Universities," NBER Chapters,in: College Choices: The Economics of Where to Go, When to Go, and How to Pay For It, pages 303-354 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. Mixon, Franklin Jr & Hsing, Yu, 1994. "The determinants of out-of-state enrollments in higher education: A tobit analysis," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 13(4), pages 329-335.
    11. Schwager, Robert, 2007. "Public Universities, Tuition and Competition: A Tiebout Model," ZEW Discussion Papers 07-056, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
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    Cited by:

    1. Horstschräer, Julia, 2012. "University rankings in action? The importance of rankings and an excellence competition for university choice of high-ability students," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 31(6), pages 1162-1176.
    2. Bruckmeier, Kerstin & Wigger, Berthold U., 2014. "The effects of tuition fees on transition from high school to university in Germany," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 41(C), pages 14-23.
    3. Björn Kauder & Niklas Potrafke, 2013. "Government Ideology and Tuition Fee Policy: Evidence from the German States," CESifo Economic Studies, CESifo, vol. 59(4), pages 628-649, December.
    4. Bruckmeier Kerstin & Fischer Georg-Benedikt & Wigger Berthold U., 2015. "Studiengebühren in Deutschland: Lehren aus einem gescheiterten Experiment," Perspektiven der Wirtschaftspolitik, De Gruyter, vol. 16(3), pages 289-301, October.
    5. repec:spr:scient:v:91:y:2012:i:1:d:10.1007_s11192-011-0593-5 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. repec:taf:edecon:v:24:y:2016:i:6:p:573-591 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Sibbertsen, Philipp & Stöver, Britta, 2017. "Die räumliche Flexibilität von Studierenden - Gründe für das Wanderungsverhalten von Studienanfänger/-innen zwischen den Bundesländern," Hannover Economic Papers (HEP) dp-604, Leibniz Universität Hannover, Wirtschaftswissenschaftliche Fakultät.
    8. Bastian Gawellek & Bernd Süssmuth & Daniel Singh, 2016. "Tuition Fees and Instructional Quality," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 36(1), pages 84-91.
    9. Wolfram F. Richter & Berthold U. Wigger, 2012. "Besteuerung des Humanvermögens," Perspektiven der Wirtschaftspolitik, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 13(1-2), pages 82-102, February.
    10. Horstschräer, Julia, 2012. "Decentralizing university admission: Evidence from a natural experiment," ZEW Discussion Papers 12-076, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
    11. Timo Mitze & Claudia Burgard & Bjoern Alecke, 2013. "The Effect of Tuition Fees on Student Enrollment and Location Choice: Interregional Migration, Border Effects and Gender Differences," ERSA conference papers ersa13p883, European Regional Science Association.
    12. Kugler Franziska & Schwerdt Guido & Wößmann Ludger, 2014. "Ökonometrische Methoden zur Evaluierung kausaler Effekte der Wirtschaftspolitik," Perspektiven der Wirtschaftspolitik, De Gruyter, vol. 15(2), pages 105-132, June.
    13. Stephan Thomsen & Friederike von Haaren-Giebel, 2016. "Did tuition fees in Germany constrain students’ budgets? New evidence from a natural experiment," IZA Journal of European Labor Studies, Springer;Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit GmbH (IZA), vol. 5(1), pages 1-25, December.
    14. Björn Alecke & Claudia Burgard & Timo Mitze, 2013. "The Effect of Tuition Fees on Student Enrollment and Location Choice – Interregional Migration, Border Effects and Gender Differences," Ruhr Economic Papers 0404, Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Universität Dortmund, Universität Duisburg-Essen.
    15. Mira Fischer & Patrick Kampkoetter, 2014. "Effects of the German Universities' Excellence Initiative on Ability Sorting of Students and Perceptions of Educational Quality," Cologne Graduate School Working Paper Series 05-01, Cologne Graduate School in Management, Economics and Social Sciences, revised 25 Jun 2016.
    16. Haupt, Alexander & Krieger, Tim & Lange, Thomas, 2013. "Education policy, student migration, and brain gain," Discussion Paper Series 2013-05, University of Freiburg, Wilfried Guth Endowed Chair for Constitutional Political Economy and Competition Policy.
    17. Tina Haussen & Silke Uebelmesser, 2016. "Student and graduate migration and its effect on the financing of higher education," Education Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 24(6), pages 573-591, November.
    18. Brian G. Knight & Nathan M. Schiff, 2016. "The Out-of-State Tuition Distortion," NBER Working Papers 22996, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    19. repec:zbw:rwirep:0404 is not listed on IDEAS
    20. repec:spr:anresc:v:59:y:2017:i:3:d:10.1007_s00168-016-0765-6 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    natural experiment; mobility of high-school graduates; tuition fees;

    JEL classification:

    • I22 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Educational Finance; Financial Aid
    • I28 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Government Policy
    • H75 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - State and Local Government: Health, Education, and Welfare
    • R23 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Household Analysis - - - Regional Migration; Regional Labor Markets; Population

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