The indirect effects of educational expansions: Evidence from a large enrollment increase in university majors

Nicola Bianchi*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

Increasing access to education may have consequences that go beyond effects on marginal students encouraged to enroll. It may change peer effects, school quality, and returns to skill. This paper studies how classmates and teaching inputs affect learning of university students, exploiting an educational expansion in Italian STEM majors. Newly collected data on 27,236 students indicate that less prepared classmates and congestion of teaching resources lowered learning of incumbent students in STEM fields. Their learning, however, increased in courses in which the new classmates raised average preparedness. These effects might have had long-lasting consequences on the returns to STEM degrees.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)767-804
Number of pages38
JournalJournal of Labor Economics
Volume38
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 1 2020
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Industrial relations
  • Economics and Econometrics

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