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The Political Economy of Higher Education Admission Standards and Participation Gap

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journal contribution
posted on 2017-09-21, 15:57 authored by Philippe De Donder, Francisco Martinez Mora
We build a political economy model allowing us to shed light on the empirically observed simultaneous increase in university size and participation gap. Parents differ in income and in the ability of their unique child. They vote over the minimum ability level required to attend public universities, which are tuition-free and financed by proportional income taxation. Parents can invest in private tutoring to help their child pass the admission test. A university participation gap emerges endogenously with richer parents investing more in tutoring. A unique majority voting equilibrium exists, which can be either classical or “ends-against-the-middle” (in which case parents of both low- and high-ability children favor a smaller university). Four factors increase the university size (larger skill premium enjoyed by university graduates, smaller tutoring costs, smaller university cost per student, larger minimum ability of students), but only the former two also increase the participation gap. A more unequal parental income distribution also increases the participation gap, but barely affects the university size.

History

Citation

Journal of Public Economics, 2017, 154, pp. 1-9

Author affiliation

/Organisation/COLLEGE OF SOCIAL SCIENCES, ARTS AND HUMANITIES/Department of Economics

Version

  • AM (Accepted Manuscript)

Published in

Journal of Public Economics

Publisher

Elsevier

issn

0047-2727

Acceptance date

2017-07-17

Copyright date

2017

Available date

2019-07-23

Publisher version

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0047272717301068?via=ihub

Notes

The file associated with this record is under embargo until 24 months after publication, in accordance with the publisher's self-archiving policy. The full text may be available through the publisher links provided above.

Language

en

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