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

PSC In The News

RSS Feed icon

Smock cited in story on how low marriage rates may exacerbate marriage-status economic inequality

Shapiro says Americans' seemingly volatile spending pattern linked to 'sensible cash management'

Work of Cigolle, Ofstedal et al. cited in Forbes story on frailty risk among the elderly

Highlights

Sarah Burgard and former PSC trainee Jennifer Ailshire win ASA award for paper

James Jackson to be appointed to NSF's National Science Board

ISR's program in Society, Population, and Environment (SPE) focuses on social change and social issues worldwide.

McEniry and Schoeni host Conference on Long-run Impacts of Early Life Events

Next Brown Bag


PSC Brown Bags will return in the fall

John Bound photo

Cohort crowding: How resources affect collegiate attainment

Publication Abstract

Bound, John, and Sarah E. Turner. 2007. "Cohort crowding: How resources affect collegiate attainment." Journal of Public Economics, 91(5-6): 877-899.

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 reduced resources per student following from rising cohort size and lower state expenditures are likely to have significant negative effects on the supply of college-educated workers entering the labor market.

DOI:10.1016/j.jpubeco.2006.07.006 (Full Text)

Browse | Search : All Pubs | Next