Community Colleges and Upward Mobility
AbstractTwo-year community colleges enroll nearly half of all first-time undergraduates in the United States, but to ambiguous effect: low persistence rates and the potential for diverting students from four-year institutions cast ambiguity over two-year colleges' contributions to upward mobility. This paper develops a new instrumental variables approach to identifying causal effects along multiple treatment margins, and applies it to linked education and earnings registries to disentangle the net impacts of two-year college access into two competing causal margins: significant value added for two-year entrants who otherwise would not have attended college, but negative impacts on students diverted from immediate four-year entry.
CitationMountjoy, Jack. 2022. "Community Colleges and Upward Mobility." American Economic Review, 112 (8): 2580-2630. DOI: 10.1257/aer.20181756
- I23 Higher Education; Research Institutions
- I26 Returns to Education
- I28 Education: Government Policy
- J24 Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
- J31 Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials