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College Curriculum, Diverging Selectivity, and Enrollment Expansion

Michael Kaganovich () and Xuejuan Su ()

No 6122, CESifo Working Paper Series from CESifo

Abstract: We analyze the impact of expansion of higher education on student outcomes in the context of competition among colleges which differentiate themselves horizontally by setting curricular standards. When public or economic pressures compel less selective colleges to lower their curricular demands, low-ability students benefit at the expense of medium-ability students. This reduces competitive pressure faced by more selective colleges, which therefore adopt more demanding curricula to better serve their most able students. This stylized model of curricular product differentiation in higher education offers an explanation for the diverging selectivity trends of American colleges. It also appears consistent with the U-shaped earnings growth profile we observe among college-educated workers in the U.S.

Keywords: curricular standard; higher education; college selectivity; enrollment expansion; income distribution (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: H44 I21 I23 I24 J24 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2016
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Journal Article: College curriculum, diverging selectivity, and enrollment expansion (2019) Downloads
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