Family Heterogeneity, Human Capital Investment, and College Attainment
AbstractFrom 1995 to 2015 the aggregate US college completion rate increased almost 50 percent, but completion trends differed markedly by family background. We consider whether changing college preparedness contributed to growth in aggregate completion and differences by family background. We first document parallel empirical trends in precollege investments, college preparedness, and completion. We use these moments to discipline a quantitative model of intergenerational human capital investment with heterogeneous families. Within the model, investment trends generate half of the empirical increase in college completion. The model implies that subsidizing precollege investments increases college completion and lifetime earnings more than college tuition subsidies.
CitationBlandin, Adam, and Christopher Herrington. 2022. "Family Heterogeneity, Human Capital Investment, and College Attainment." American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, 14 (4): 438-78. DOI: 10.1257/mac.20200014
- I23 Higher Education; Research Institutions
- I26 Returns to Education
- J12 Marriage; Marital Dissolution; Family Structure; Domestic Abuse
- J24 Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
- J31 Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials