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The Effect of Tuition Fees on Student Enrollment and Location Choice – Interregional Migration, Border Effects and Gender Differences

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  • Alecke, Björn
  • Burgard, Claudia
  • Mitze, Timo

Abstract

This paper investigates the effects of tuition fees on the university enrollment and location decision of high school graduates in Germany. After a Federal Constitutional Court decision in 2005, 7 out of 16 German federal states introduced tuition fees for higher education. In the empirical analysis, we use the variation over time and across regions in this institutional change in order to isolate the causal effect of tuition fees on student enrollment and migration. Controlling for a range of regional- and university-specific effects, our results from Difference-in-Differences estimations show that there is generally no effect of tuition fees on internal enrollment rates. However, we find a redirecting effect on first-year students' migratory behavior as indicated by a signicant drop in the gross in-migration rates in fee-charging states. Further, our results point at a stronger migration response of male students, which, however, can mainly be attributed to a 'border effect'. That is, interregional migration flows of male students are redirected from fee-charging universities to those universities that are geographically close by while being located in a non-charging neighboring state. Controlling for these border effects, the relocating trend in long-distance migration of university freshmen does not show any particular gender differences.

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  • Alecke, Björn & Burgard, Claudia & Mitze, Timo, 2013. "The Effect of Tuition Fees on Student Enrollment and Location Choice – Interregional Migration, Border Effects and Gender Differences," Ruhr Economic Papers 404, RWI - Leibniz-Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-University Bochum, TU Dortmund University, University of Duisburg-Essen.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:rwirep:404
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Dwenger, Nadja & Storck, Johanna & Wrohlich, Katharina, 2012. "Do tuition fees affect the mobility of university applicants? Evidence from a natural experiment," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 31(1), pages 155-167.
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    3. Björn Alecke & Timo Mitze, 2012. "Studiengebühren und das Wanderungsverhalten von Studienanfängern: eine panel-ökonometrische Wirkungsanalyse," Perspektiven der Wirtschaftspolitik, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 13(4), pages 357-386, November.
    4. James P. LeSage & R. Kelley Pace, 2008. "Spatial Econometric Modeling Of Origin‐Destination Flows," Journal of Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 48(5), pages 941-967, December.
    5. Bruce Chapman & Mathias Sinning, 2014. "Student loan reforms for German higher education: financing tuition fees," Education Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 22(6), pages 569-588, December.
    6. Gary S. Becker & William H. J. Hubbard & Kevin M. Murphy, 2010. "Explaining the Worldwide Boom in Higher Education of Women," Journal of Human Capital, University of Chicago Press, vol. 4(3), pages 203-241.
    7. Burgard, Claudia & Grave, Barbara S., 2013. "Does it Pay Off to Incentivize Universities? – Performance Funding in the German Higher Education System," Ruhr Economic Papers 457, RWI - Leibniz-Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-University Bochum, TU Dortmund University, University of Duisburg-Essen.
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    Cited by:

    1. Michel Beine & Marco Delogu & Lionel Ragot, 2017. "Understanding the Impact of Tuition Fees in Foreign Education: the Case of the UK," DEM Discussion Paper Series 17-15, Department of Economics at the University of Luxembourg.
    2. Michel beine & Marco Delogu & Lionel Ragot, 2017. "Role of Fees in Foreign Education: Evidence from Italy," DEM Discussion Paper Series 17-09, Department of Economics at the University of Luxembourg.
    3. Michel Beine & Marco Delogu & Lionel Ragot, 2017. "The Role of Fees in Foreign Education: Evidence From Italy and the United Kingdom," Working Papers 2017-04, CEPII research center.
    4. Léonard Moulin & David Flacher & Hugo Harari-Kermadec, 2016. "Tuition fees and social segregation: lessons from a natural experiment at the University of Paris 9-Dauphine," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 48(40), pages 3861-3876, August.
    5. Neeraj Kaushal & Mauro Lanati, 2019. "International Student Mobility: Growth and Dispersion," NBER Working Papers 25921, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    tuition fees; gender differences; higher education; student migration; policy evaluation; Difference-in-Differences;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D04 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Microeconomic Policy: Formulation; Implementation; Evaluation
    • I23 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Higher Education; Research Institutions
    • J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination
    • R23 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Household Analysis - - - Regional Migration; Regional Labor Markets; Population

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