The Effect of Tuition Fees on Student Enrollment and Location Choice – Interregional Migration, Border Effects and Gender Differences

32 Pages Posted: 21 Feb 2013

See all articles by Björn Alecke

Björn Alecke

GEFRA

Claudia Burgard

University of Dortmund, Ruhr Graduate School in Economics - Department of Economics,

Timo Mitze

Gesellschaft für Okonomische Regionalanalysen (GEFRA)

Date Written: February 1, 2013

Abstract

This paper investigates the effects of tuition fees on the university enrollment and location decision of high school graduates in Germany. After a Federal Constitutional Court decision in 2005, 7 out of 16 German federal states introduced tuition fees for higher education. In the empirical analysis, we use the variation over time and across regions in this institutional change in order to isolate the causal effect of tuition fees on student enrollment and migration. Controlling for a range of regional- and university-specific effects, our results from Difference-in-Differences estimations show that there is generally no effect of tuition fees on internal enrollment rates. However, we find a redirecting effect on first-year students‘ migratory behavior as indicated by a signicant drop in the gross in-migration rates in fee-charging states. Further, our results point at a stronger migration response of male students, which, however, can mainly be attributed to a “border effect”. That is, interregional migration flows of male students are redirected from fee-charging universities to those universities that are geographically close by while being located in a non-charging neighboring state. Controlling for these border effects, the relocating trend in long-distance migration of university freshmen does not show any particular gender differences.

Keywords: Tuition fees, gender differences, higher education, student migration, policy evaluation, Difference-in-Differences

JEL Classification: D04, I23, J16, R23

Suggested Citation

Alecke, Björn and Burgard, Claudia and Mitze, Timo, The Effect of Tuition Fees on Student Enrollment and Location Choice – Interregional Migration, Border Effects and Gender Differences (February 1, 2013). Ruhr Economic Paper No. 404. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2221351 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2221351

Björn Alecke

GEFRA ( email )

Ludgeristr. 56
48143 Muenster
Germany

Claudia Burgard

University of Dortmund, Ruhr Graduate School in Economics - Department of Economics, ( email )

Hohenzollernstr. 1-3
Essen, NRW 45128
Germany

Timo Mitze (Contact Author)

Gesellschaft für Okonomische Regionalanalysen (GEFRA) ( email )

Salzmannstr. 152
48159 Muenster
Germany

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