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The Dynamics of Educational Attainment for Blacks, Hispanics, and Whites

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  • Stephen V. Cameron
  • James J. Heckman

Abstract

This paper estimates a dynamic model of schooling attainment to investigate the sources of discrepancy by race and ethnicity in college attendance. When the returns to college education rose, college enrollment of whites responded much more quickly than that of minorities. Parental income is a strong predictor of this response. However, using NLSY data, we find that it is the long-run factors associated with parental background and income and not short-term credit constraints facing college students that account for the differential response by race and ethnicity to the new labor market for skilled labor. Policies aimed at improving these long-term factors are far more likely to be successful in eliminating college attendance differentials than are short-term tuition reduction policies.

Suggested Citation

  • Stephen V. Cameron & James J. Heckman, 1999. "The Dynamics of Educational Attainment for Blacks, Hispanics, and Whites," NBER Working Papers 7249, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:7249
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Willis, Robert J & Rosen, Sherwin, 1979. "Education and Self-Selection," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(5), pages 7-36, October.
    2. Heckman, James & Singer, Burton, 1984. "A Method for Minimizing the Impact of Distributional Assumptions in Econometric Models for Duration Data," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 52(2), pages 271-320, March.
    3. 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.
    4. Charles T. Clotfelter & Michael Rothschild, 1993. "Studies of Supply and Demand in Higher Education," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number clot93-1.
    5. David Card, 1994. "Earnings, Schooling, and Ability Revisited," Working Papers 710, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
    6. Lisa M. Lynch, 1994. "Training and the Private Sector: International Comparisons," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number lync94-1.
    7. Cameron, Stephen V & Heckman, James J, 1993. "The Nonequivalence of High School Equivalents," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 11(1), pages 1-47, January.
    8. Lazear, Edward P, 1977. "Education: Consumption or Production?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 85(3), pages 569-597, June.
    9. Taubman, Paul, 1989. "Role of Parental Income in Educational Attainment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(2), pages 57-61, May.
    10. Clotfelter, Charles T. & Ehrenberg, Ronald G. & Getz, Malcolm & Siegfried, John J., 1992. "Economic Challenges in Higher Education," National Bureau of Economic Research Books, University of Chicago Press, edition 1, number 9780226110509, May.
    11. Arulampalam, W. & Robin A. Naylor & Jeremy P. Smith, 2002. "University of Warwick," Royal Economic Society Annual Conference 2002 9, Royal Economic Society.
    12. Heckman, James J, 1995. "Lessons from the Bell Curve," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 103(5), pages 1091-1120, October.
    13. McPherson, Michael S & Schapiro, Morton Owen, 1991. "Does Student Aid Affect College Enrollment? New Evidence on a Persistent Controversy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(1), pages 309-318, March.
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Behavior

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