Boom and Bust Cycles in College Enrollment Rates

Diane J. Macunovich

in Birth Quake

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print May 2002 | ISBN: 9780226500836
Published online February 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226500928 | DOI:
Boom and Bust Cycles in College Enrollment Rates

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This chapter discusses young men's and women's college enrollment rates. It is expected that relative cohort size should exert a significant effect on college enrollments. The large cohorts face a declining college wage premium—the difference between a college wage and a high school wage—and this effect of cohort size will decreases their motivation for further education. The net effect of cohort size on their enrollment probability will be a combination of positive and negative forces. Rising levels of international trade tend to produce rising college enrollment rates. Increasing globalization is increasing the incentive for higher college enrollments, as imports weaken the earning power of less-skilled workers and exports increase the competitive position of more-skilled workers. A significant proportion of the increase in young women's educational level appears to be yet another repercussion of the baby boom.

Keywords: young men; young women; college enrollment rates; relative cohort size; college wage; high school wage; education; international trade; globalization; baby boom

Chapter.  2863 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Microeconomics

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