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College Quality and Attendance Patterns: A Long-Run View†

College Quality and Attendance Patterns: A Long-Run View† AbstractWe construct a time series of college attendance patterns for the United States and document a reversal: family background was a better predictor of college attendance before World War II, but academic ability was afterward. We construct a model of college choice that explains this reversal. The model’s central mechanism is that an exogenous surge of college attendance leads better colleges to be oversubscribed, institute selective admissions, and raise their quality relative to their peers, as in Hoxby (2009). Rising quality at better colleges attracts high-ability students, while falling quality at the remaining colleges dissuades low-ability students, generating the reversal. (JEL I23, J12, N32) http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics American Economic Association

College Quality and Attendance Patterns: A Long-Run View†

College Quality and Attendance Patterns: A Long-Run View†

American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics , Volume 13 (1) – Jan 1, 2021

Abstract

AbstractWe construct a time series of college attendance patterns for the United States and document a reversal: family background was a better predictor of college attendance before World War II, but academic ability was afterward. We construct a model of college choice that explains this reversal. The model’s central mechanism is that an exogenous surge of college attendance leads better colleges to be oversubscribed, institute selective admissions, and raise their quality relative to their peers, as in Hoxby (2009). Rising quality at better colleges attracts high-ability students, while falling quality at the remaining colleges dissuades low-ability students, generating the reversal. (JEL I23, J12, N32)

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Publisher
American Economic Association
Copyright
Copyright © 2021 © American Economic Association
ISSN
1945-7715
DOI
10.1257/mac.20190154
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

AbstractWe construct a time series of college attendance patterns for the United States and document a reversal: family background was a better predictor of college attendance before World War II, but academic ability was afterward. We construct a model of college choice that explains this reversal. The model’s central mechanism is that an exogenous surge of college attendance leads better colleges to be oversubscribed, institute selective admissions, and raise their quality relative to their peers, as in Hoxby (2009). Rising quality at better colleges attracts high-ability students, while falling quality at the remaining colleges dissuades low-ability students, generating the reversal. (JEL I23, J12, N32)

Journal

American Economic Journal: MacroeconomicsAmerican Economic Association

Published: Jan 1, 2021

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