Economics at your fingertips  

College Expansion and Curriculum Choice

Michael Kaganovich () and Xuejuan Su

No 5299, CESifo Working Paper Series from CESifo

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.

Keywords: curriculum; postsecondary education; enrollment expansion; income distribution (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: H44 I21 I23 I24 J24 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2015
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: View citations in EconPapers (2) Track citations by RSS feed

Downloads: (external link) (application/pdf)

Related works:
Working Paper: College Expansion and Curriculum Choice (2015) Downloads
This item may be available elsewhere in EconPapers: Search for items with the same title.

Export reference: BibTeX RIS (EndNote, ProCite, RefMan) HTML/Text

Persistent link:

Access Statistics for this paper

More papers in CESifo Working Paper Series from CESifo Contact information at EDIRC.
Bibliographic data for series maintained by Klaus Wohlrabe ().

Page updated 2023-03-16
Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_5299