Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10419/110788
Authors: 
Kaganovich, Michael
Su, Xuejuan
Year of Publication: 
2015
Series/Report no.: 
CESifo Working Paper 5299
Abstract: 
This paper analyzes the impact of college enrollment expansion on student academic achievements and labor market outcomes in the context of competition among colleges. When public policies promote “access” to college education, colleges adjust their curricula: Less selective public colleges adopt a less demanding curriculum in order to accommodate the influx of less able students. As we argue in the paper, this adjustment benefits low-ability college students at the expense of those of medium ability. At the same time, this reduces the competitive pressure faced by elite colleges, as less selective colleges become a less appealing alternative for the medium ability students. The selective, elite colleges therefore adopt a more demanding curriculum to better serve their most able students, again at the expense of medium ability students. The model offers an explanation to two sets of empirical phenomena: (i) the observed U-shaped earnings growth profile among college-educated workers in the U.S. and (ii) the diverging selectivity trends of American colleges.
Subjects: 
curriculum
postsecondary education
enrollment expansion
income distribution
JEL: 
I21
I23
I24
J24
H44
Document Type: 
Working Paper

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