Increasing access to education may have consequences that go beyond the effects on marginal students induced to enroll. It may change school quality, peer effects, and returns to skill. This paper studies the effects of an educational expansion on student learning, exploiting an Italian reform that changed the admission requirements for university STEM majors. Newly collected administrative data on 27,236 students indicate that the reform decreased learning in STEM fields due to overcrowded universities and negative peer effects. The analysis of long-run incomes suggests that the reform might have had a long-lasting negative effect on the returns to STEM degrees.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||76|
|State||Published - Jan 5 2016|