College Course Shutouts

63 Pages Posted: 26 Mar 2024

See all articles by Kevin J. Mumford

Kevin J. Mumford

Purdue University - Department of Economics

Richard Patterson

Brigham Young University

Anthony LokTing Yim

Brigham Young University

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: 2024

Abstract

What happens when college students are not able to enroll in the courses they want? We use a natural experiment at Purdue University in which first-year students are conditionally randomly assigned to oversubscribed courses. Compared to students who are assigned a requested course, those who are shut out are 40% less likely to ever take the oversubscribed course and 30% less likely to ever take a course in the same subject. While a course shutout is equally likely to occur to female and male students who requested the course, shutouts are much more disruptive for female students. In the short run, shutouts decrease the credits female students earn as well as their GPA. In the long-run, shutouts increase the probability female students drop out of school in the first year, decrease the probability they choose majors in STEM fields (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math), decrease cumulative GPA, and decrease the probability of graduating within four years. In contrast, shutouts have no effects on short-run credits earned, dropout, majoring in STEM, cumulative GPA, or four-year graduation for male students. Shutouts do have one large measurable long-run impact on male students—shutouts significantly increase the probability that men choose a major from the business school.

JEL Classification: I230, J160, J240

Suggested Citation

Mumford, Kevin J. and Patterson, Richard and Yim, Anthony LokTing, College Course Shutouts (2024). CESifo Working Paper No. 11005, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4772578 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.4772578

Kevin J. Mumford (Contact Author)

Purdue University - Department of Economics ( email )

West Lafayette, IN 47907-1310
United States
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HOME PAGE: http://kevinjmumford.com

Richard Patterson

Brigham Young University ( email )

Provo, UT 84602
United States

Anthony LokTing Yim

Brigham Young University ( email )

Provo, UT 84602
United States

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