The Economics of University Dropouts and Delayed Graduation: A Survey

22 Pages Posted: 2 Apr 2018

See all articles by Carmen Aina

Carmen Aina

University of Piemonte Orientale

Eliana Baici

University of Piemonte Orientale

Giorgia Casalone

University of Piemonte Orientale

Francesco Pastore

Seconda Università di Napoli - Dipartimento di Discipline Giuridiche ed Economiche Italiane Europee e Comparate; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Abstract

This survey organizes and discusses the theoretical and empirical literature on the determinants of university student achievements. According to the theoretical framework, the decision to invest in tertiary education is a sequential process made under gradually decreasing levels of uncertainty on education costs and future returns. Students, applying a learning by doing approach, update their information set each academic year and revise benefits and costs associated to tertiary education. Accordingly, they decide whether to continue university studies in order to get a degree or to withdraw.This university decisional process is discussed by clustering the determinants of university outcomes into four main categories - students' characteristics, abilities and behavior; parental background and family networks; characteristics of the tertiary education system and its institutions; labor market performance - which are drawn from the empirical evidence. The policy advice resulting from the encompassing analysis is to provide an all-inclusive orientation activity for students, before they enroll at university. A complete understanding of the potential costs and benefits of this human capital investment can in fact reduce the risk of early withdrawal or delayed graduation.

Keywords: university dropout, time-to-degree, tertiary education, human capital theory

JEL Classification: H52, I21, I22, I23, J13, J24

Suggested Citation

Aina, Carmen and Baici, Eliana and Casalone, Giorgia and Pastore, Francesco, The Economics of University Dropouts and Delayed Graduation: A Survey. IZA Discussion Paper No. 11421, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3153385

Carmen Aina (Contact Author)

University of Piemonte Orientale ( email )

Eliana Baici

University of Piemonte Orientale

Giorgia Casalone

University of Piemonte Orientale ( email )

Rectory, via Duomo
Novara, Novara 6-13100
Italy

Francesco Pastore

Seconda Università di Napoli - Dipartimento di Discipline Giuridiche ed Economiche Italiane Europee e Comparate ( email )

Via Antonio Vivaldi, 43
Caserta CE, Caserta 81100
Italy

HOME PAGE: http://www.giurisprudenza.unina2.it/news.php?nid=185

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

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

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