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Time-to-degree: Students' abilities, university characteristics or what else?

Giorgia Casalone, Carmen Aina () and Eliana Baici ()
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Eliana Baici: University of Piemonte Orientale

Chapter 03 in Investigaciones de Economía de la Educación, 2010, vol. 5, pp 67-86 from Asociación de Economía de la Educación

Abstract: Despite differences existing among tertiary education systems across countries, there is a growing concern about the rise of the time to bachelor degree. Italian university system, in particular, has been traditionally affected by this form of internal inefficiency and a baseline motivation of shorter bachelor degrees introduced in 2001 was the reduction of the average time spent at university. Notwithstanding the remarkable enhancement in terms of study regularity, the average time-to-degree in Italy still remains however larger than the legal duration. This paper aims at investigating which factors are responsible of this poor performance of university students in Italy. Besides students’ abilities, parental background and labour market conditions, we include additional controls measured at the university and faculty level. A survival analysis approach indicates that the elapsed time to degree in Italy is the result not only of pre-college conditions, but also of students’ choices and behaviour once enrolled at university, external conditions, and of the availability of human endowment and facilities provided by university.

Keywords: Tertiary education system; elapsed-time-to-degree; duration models; unobserved heterogeneity. (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: I23 J24 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2010
ISBN: 978-84-694-0889-6
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