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What did abolishing university fees in Ireland do?

Author

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  • Kevin Denny

    (School of Economics and Geary Institute, University College Dublin)

Abstract

University tuition fees for undergraduates were abolished in Ireland in 1996. This paper examines the effect of this reform on the socio-economic gradient (SES) to determine whether the reform was successful in achieving its objective of promoting educational equality. It finds that the reform clearly did not have that effect. It is also shown that the university/SES gradient can be explained by differential performance at second level which also explains the gap between the sexes. Students from white collar backgrounds do significantly better in their final second level exams than the children of blue-collar workers. The results are very similar to recent findings for the UK. I also find that certain demographic characteristics have large negative effects on school performance i.e. having a disabled or deceased parent. The results show that the effect of SES on school performance is generally stronger for those at the lower end of the conditional distribution of academic attainment.

Suggested Citation

  • Kevin Denny, 2010. "What did abolishing university fees in Ireland do?," Working Papers 201026, Geary Institute, University College Dublin.
  • Handle: RePEc:ucd:wpaper:201026
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    File URL: http://www.ucd.ie/geary/static/publications/workingpapers/gearywp201026.pdf
    File Function: First version, 2010
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    Citations

    Blog mentions

    As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. A semana (20/08-02/09)
      by Roberto Ushisima in Empresas e Mercados on 2011-09-03 03:01:00
    2. A degree is not just for Christmas…
      by kevin denny in Kevin Denny: Economics more-or-less on 2012-03-12 01:05:52
    3. Social class and educational attainment of Irish children
      by Kevin Denny in Geary Behaviour Centre on 2010-08-25 06:58:00
    4. Its not the points, its the system, thats a problem in the points system
      by brianmlucey in Brian M. Lucey on 2012-05-31 15:18:22
    5. The effect of abolishing university fees in Ireland
      by kevin denny in Kevin Denny: Economics more-or-less on 2013-11-26 16:33:31

    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Liam Delaney & Colm Harmon & Cathy Redmond, 2010. "Parental Education, Grade Attainment & Earnings Expectations among University Students," Working Papers 201035, Geary Institute, University College Dublin.
    2. John Cullinan & Darragh Flannery & Sharon Walsh & Selina Mccoy, 2013. "Distance Effects, Social Class and the Decision to Participate in Higher Education in Ireland," The Economic and Social Review, Economic and Social Studies, vol. 44(1), pages 19-51.
    3. Delaney, Liam & Harmon, Colm & Redmond, Cathy, 2011. "Parental education, grade attainment and earnings expectations among university students," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 30(6), pages 1136-1152.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    tuition costs; university; fees; socio-economic background; educational attainment;

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