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What's the link between household income and going to university?

Jake Anders

No 12-01, DoQSS Working Papers from Quantitative Social Science - UCL Social Research Institute, University College London

Abstract: The association between household income and university entry is a matter of clear academic and policy interest. This paper sheds new light on the matter using the LSYPE, a recent longitudinal survey from England. While those in the top income quintile group are more likely than those in the bottom quintile group to attend university (66% vs. 24%), much of this gap is explained by earlier educational outcomes. The paper also examines admissions decisions in more detail, separating applying from attending. This analysis yields results suggesting most of the difference in participation rates is driven by the application decision. The attendance gap conditional on having applied is much smaller (85% vs. 68%) and closes completely when earlier educational outcomes are taken into account. Finally, the paper considers attendance at high quality Russell Group universities. By contrast with the main analysis, the Russell Group attendance gap persists even among those who attend university. The findings suggest policies aimed at reducing the university participation gap at point of entry face small rewards. More likely successful are policies aimed at closing the application gap, for example encouraging a wider cross-section of the population to apply and ensuring they have the necessary qualifications.

Keywords: Higher Education; Household Income; Socioeconomic Gradient; Intergenerational Mobility (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: I24 J62 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2012-03-27
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-edu and nep-lab
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