Money or Fun? Why Students Want to Pursue Further Education

40 Pages Posted: 22 Aug 2016

See all articles by Chris Belfield

Chris Belfield

Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS)

Teodora Boneva

University College London - Department of Economics

Christopher Rauh

University of Cambridge - Cambridge-INET Institute

Jonathan Shaw

Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS)

Abstract

We study students' motives for educational attainment in a unique survey of 885 secondary school students in the UK. As expected, students who perceive the monetary returns to education to be higher are more likely to intend to continue in full-time education. However, the main driver is the perceived consumption value, which alone explains around half of the variation of the intention to pursue higher education. Moreover, the perceived consumption value can account for a substantial part of both the socio-economic gap and the gender gap in intentions to continue in full-time education.

Keywords: education, perceived returns, consumption value of education, beliefs, higher education, UK, gender gap, income gradient

JEL Classification: I24, I26, J13, J24, J62

Suggested Citation

Belfield, Chris and Boneva, Teodora and Rauh, Christopher and Shaw, Jonathan, Money or Fun? Why Students Want to Pursue Further Education. IZA Discussion Paper No. 10136, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2826970

Chris Belfield (Contact Author)

Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) ( email )

7 Ridgmount Street
London, WC1E 7AE
United Kingdom

Teodora Boneva

University College London - Department of Economics ( email )

Drayton House
30 Gordon Street
London, WC1H 0AX
United Kingdom

Christopher Rauh

University of Cambridge - Cambridge-INET Institute ( email )

Sidgwick Avenue
Cambridge, CB3 9DD
United Kingdom

Jonathan Shaw

Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) ( email )

7 Ridgmount Street
London, WC1E 7AE
United Kingdom

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