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The Returns to College Persistence for Marginal Students: Regression Discontinuity Evidence from University Dismissal Policies

Author

Listed:
  • Ost, Ben

    () (University of Illinois at Chicago)

  • Pan, Weixiang

    (University of Illinois at Chicago)

  • Webber, Douglas A.

    () (Temple University)

Abstract

We estimate the returns to college using administrative data on college enrollment matched to administrative data on weekly earnings. Utilizing the fact that colleges dismiss low-performing students based on exact GPA cutoffs, we use a regression discontinuity design to estimate the earnings impacts of college. Dismissed students are permitted to apply for readmission, but since relatively few do so, these students end up completing fewer years of school and are approximately 10 percentage points less likely to graduate college. Our estimates suggest that low-performing students (on the margin of college dismissal) derive substantial earnings benefits from college.

Suggested Citation

  • Ost, Ben & Pan, Weixiang & Webber, Douglas A., 2016. "The Returns to College Persistence for Marginal Students: Regression Discontinuity Evidence from University Dismissal Policies," IZA Discussion Papers 9799, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp9799
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Blog mentions

    As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. To Ease The Student Debt Crisis, Hold Colleges Responsible
      by Doug Webber in FiveThirtyEight Economics on 2017-04-06 15:00:45

    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Ost, Ben & Pan, Weixiang & Webber, Doug, 2018. "The impact of mass layoffs on the educational investments of working college students," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(C), pages 1-12.
    2. Denning, Jeffrey T. & Jones, Todd R., 2019. "Maxed Out? The Effect of Larger Student Loan Limits on Borrowing and Education Outcomes," IZA Discussion Papers 12239, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    3. Oreopoulos, Philip, 2019. "What Limits College Success? A Review and Further Analysis of Holzer and Baum's 'Making College Work'," IZA Policy Papers 150, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    4. Oreopoulos, Philip & Petronijevic, Uros, 2019. "The Remarkable Unresponsiveness of College Students to Nudging and What We Can Learn from It," IZA Discussion Papers 12460, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    5. Wright, Nicholas A., 2020. "Perform better, or else: Academic probation, public praise, and students decision-making," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 62(C).
    6. French, Robert & Oreopoulos, Philip, 2017. "Behavioral barriers transitioning to college," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(C), pages 48-63.
    7. Heinesen, Eskil, 2018. "Admission to higher education programmes and student educational outcomes and earnings–Evidence from Denmark," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 63(C), pages 1-19.
    8. Jeffrey T. Denning, 2019. "Born under a Lucky Star: Financial Aid, College Completion, Labor Supply, and Credit Constraints," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 54(3), pages 760-784.
    9. Webber, Douglas A., 2016. "Are college costs worth it? How ability, major, and debt affect the returns to schooling," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 53(C), pages 296-310.
    10. Denning, Jeffrey T. & Eide, Eric R. & Warnick, Merrill, 2019. "Why Have College Completion Rates Increased?," IZA Discussion Papers 12411, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    11. Ozturk, Ahmet & Tumen, Semih, 2018. "Education and Labor Market Consequences of Student Protests in Late 1970s and the Subsequent Military Coup in Turkey," IZA Discussion Papers 11733, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).

    More about this item

    Keywords

    regression discontinuity; returns to college; academic probation;

    JEL classification:

    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education
    • I23 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Higher Education; Research Institutions
    • I26 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Returns to Education

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