Tuition Fees and University Enrolment: A Meta‐Regression Analysis
40 Pages Posted: 29 Oct 2018
Date Written: December 2018
One of the most frequently examined relationships in education economics is the correlation between tuition fee increases and the demand for higher education. We provide a quantitative synthesis of 443 estimates of this effect reported in 43 studies. While large negative estimates dominate the literature, we show that researchers report positive and insignificant estimates less often than they should. After correcting for this publication bias, we find that the literature is consistent with the mean tuition–enrolment elasticity being close to zero. Nevertheless, we identify substantial heterogeneity among the reported effects: for example, male students and students at private universities display larger elasticities. The results are robust to controlling for model uncertainty, using both Bayesian and frequentist methods of model averaging.
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