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The effect of introducing a Research Evaluation Exercise on student enrolment: Evidence from Italy

Daniele Biancardi () and Massimiliano Bratti

Economics of Education Review, 2019, vol. 69, issue C, 73-93

Abstract: This paper examines the impact of introducing a Research Evaluation Exercise (REE) on Italian undergraduate students’ enrolment choices. We investigate whether subject groups in higher education institutions (HEIs) that performed better in the REE also benefited from more student enrolments and the enrolment of students with better entry qualifications. To this aim, we use a before-after estimator that exploits differential treatment intensities across HEIs and subject groups. Our analysis demonstrates that the REE had a positive effect on student enrolment, but only in the top-performing HEIs. The effect was larger for high-quality students, namely those with better high school final marks or coming from the academic track. Further exploratory analysis suggests that there was a reversal in the effect with the second REE, with only medium- or bottom-performing HEIs gaining more enrolments as a result of improving their performance.

Keywords: Research evaluation exercise; Student enrolment; Student quality; Italy (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: I21 I23 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2019
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