The Consequences of Academic Match between Students and Colleges

59 Pages Posted: 16 Mar 2017

See all articles by Eleanor Wiske Dillon

Eleanor Wiske Dillon

Arizona State University (ASU)

Jeffrey A. Smith

University of Wisconsin - Madison; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA)

Multiple version iconThere are 3 versions of this paper

Date Written: February 21, 2017

Abstract

We consider the effects of student ability, college quality, and the interaction between the two on academic outcomes and future earnings using data on two cohorts of college enrollees drawn from the NLSY-79 and the NLSY-97. We find that student sorting has increased modestly between cohorts, and that student ability and college quality strongly improve degree completion and earnings. These patterns imply that, on average, students benefit from “overmatch” of the sort generated by affirmative action in admissions. We find little evidence of match effects on degree completion at eight years or on STEM degree completion, but suggestive evidence of some complementarity between student ability and college quality in degree completion at four years and long-term earnings. Such complementarity implies a tradeoff between equity and efficiency for policies that move lower ability students to higher quality colleges.

Keywords: college mismatch, college quality

JEL Classification: J310, I240

Suggested Citation

Dillon, Eleanor Wiske and Smith, Jeffrey Andrew, The Consequences of Academic Match between Students and Colleges (February 21, 2017). CESifo Working Paper Series No. 6344, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2933410 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2933410

Eleanor Wiske Dillon

Arizona State University (ASU) ( email )

No Address Available

Jeffrey Andrew Smith (Contact Author)

University of Wisconsin - Madison

716 Langdon Street
Madison, WI 53706-1481
United States

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA)

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Downloads
103
Abstract Views
636
rank
236,605
PlumX Metrics