Home > Publications . Search All . Browse All . Country . Browse PSC Pubs . PSC Report Series

PSC In The News

RSS Feed icon

Stephenson says homophobia among gay men raises risk of intimate partner violence

Frey says having more immigrants with higher birth rates fills need in the US

Inglehart's work on the rise of populism cited in NYT

More News

Highlights

Savolainen wins Outstanding Contribution Award for study of how employment affects recidivism among past criminal offenders

Giving Blueday at ISR focuses on investing in the next generation of social scientists

Pfeffer and Schoeni cover the economic and social dimensions of wealth inequality in this special issue

PRB Policy Communication Training Program for PhD students in demography, reproductive health, population health

More Highlights

Next Brown Bag

Mon, Jan 23, 2017 at noon:
H. Luke Shaefer

John Bound photo

Cohort Crowding: How Resources Affect Collegiate Attainment

Publication Abstract

Download PDF versionBound, John, and Sarah E. Turner. 2004. "Cohort Crowding: How Resources Affect Collegiate Attainment." PSC Research Report No. 04-557. April 2004.

Analyses of college attainment typically focus on factors affecting enrollment demand, including the financial attractiveness of a college education and the availability of financial aid, while implicitly assuming that resources available per student on the supply side of the market are elastically supplied. The higher education market in the United States is dominated by public and non-profit production, and colleges and universities receive considerable subsidies from state, federal, and private sources. Because consumers pay only a fraction of the cost of production, changes in demand are unlikely to be accommodated fully by colleges and universities without commensurate increases in non-tuition revenue. For this reason, public investment in higher education plays a crucial role in determining the degrees produced and the supply of college-educated workers to the labor market. Using data covering the last half of the twentieth century, we find strong evidence that large cohorts within states have relatively low undergraduate degree attainment, reflecting less than perfect elasticity of supply in the higher education market. That large cohorts receive lower public subsidies per student in higher education explains this result, indicating that resources have large effects on degree production. Our results suggest that rising cohort size and lower state expenditures foreseeable in the next decade are likely to have significant negative effects on the supply of college-educated workers in the labor market.

Browse | Search : All Pubs | Next