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The (Adverse) Effects of Expanding Higher Education: Evidence from Italy

  • Veruska Oppedisano

    (The Geary Institute, UCD)

Over the period 1995–1998 Italy experienced an expansion of its higher education supply with the aim of reducing regional differences in educational attainment. This paper evaluates the effects of this policy by combining differences across provinces in the number of campuses constructed with differences across cohorts of secondary school leavers. A sequential model of educational choices with uncertainty is derived and estimated. Findings suggest that enrollment rose, particularly among middle ability individuals from less favorable backgrounds, as well as the probability of being retained in the university system. The decline in passed exams, especially experienced in Southern regions, casts doubts on the policy effectiveness in reducing regional disparities.

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Paper provided by Geary Institute, University College Dublin in its series Working Papers with number 200945.

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Length: 45 pages
Date of creation: 10 Dec 2009
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ucd:wpaper:200945
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  1. Massimiliano Bratti & Daniele Checchi & Guido de Blasio, 2008. "Does the Expansion of Higher Education Increase the Equality of Educational Opportunities? Evidence from Italy," LABOUR, CEIS, vol. 22(s1), pages 53-88, 06.
  2. Cappellari, Lorenzo & Lucifora, Claudio, 2009. "The "Bologna Process" and college enrollment decisions," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 16(6), pages 638-647, December.
  3. Esther Duflo, 2001. "Schooling and Labor Market Consequences of School Construction in Indonesia: Evidence from an Unusual Policy Experiment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(4), pages 795-813, September.
  4. Fernanda Brollo & Tommaso Nannicini, 2010. "Tying Your Enemy’s Hands in Close Races: The Politics of Federal Transfers in Brazil," Working Papers 358, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
  5. Brunello, Giorgio & Cappellari, Lorenzo, 2005. "The Labour Market Effects of Alma Mater: Evidence from Italy," IZA Discussion Papers 1562, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  6. Angrist, Joshua D, 1995. "The Economic Returns to Schooling in the West Bank and Gaza Strip," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(5), pages 1065-87, December.
  7. Sebastian Galiani & Samuel Berlinski, 2005. "The Effect of a Large Expansion of Pre-Primary School Facilities on Preschool Attendance and Maternal Employment," Working Papers 77, Universidad de San Andres, Departamento de Economia, revised Aug 2005.
  8. James J. Heckman & Lance Lochner & Christopher Taber, 1998. "General Equilibrium Treatment Effects: A Study of Tuition Policy," NBER Working Papers 6426, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Pedro Carneiro & Sokbae (Simon) Lee, 2009. "Estimating distributions of potential outcomes using local instrumental variables with an application to changes in college enrollment and wage inequality," CeMMAP working papers CWP01/09, Centre for Microdata Methods and Practice, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  10. Assar Lindbeck & Jörgen Weibull, 1987. "Balanced-budget redistribution as the outcome of political competition," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 52(3), pages 273-297, January.
  11. Di Pietro, Giorgio & Cutillo, Andrea, 2008. "Degree flexibility and university drop-out: The Italian experience," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 27(5), pages 546-555, October.
  12. Rodolfo Hoffmann & Ana Lucia Kassouf, 2005. "Deriving conditional and unconditional marginal effects in log earnings equations estimated by Heckman's procedure," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 37(11), pages 1303-1311.
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