Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10419/155586
Authors: 
Dillon, Eleanor Wiske
Smith, Jeffrey Andrew
Year of Publication: 
2017
Series/Report no.: 
CESifo Working Paper 6344
Abstract: 
We consider the effects of student ability, college quality, and the interaction between the two on academic outcomes and future earnings using data on two cohorts of college enrollees drawn from the NLSY-79 and the NLSY-97. We find that student sorting has increased modestly between cohorts, and that student ability and college quality strongly improve degree completion and earnings. These patterns imply that, on average, students benefit from “overmatch” of the sort generated by affirmative action in admissions. We find little evidence of match effects on degree completion at eight years or on STEM degree completion, but suggestive evidence of some complementarity between student ability and college quality in degree completion at four years and long-term earnings. Such complementarity implies a tradeoff between equity and efficiency for policies that move lower ability students to higher quality colleges.
Subjects: 
college mismatch
college quality
JEL: 
J31
I24
Document Type: 
Working Paper

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