Winners and Losers? The Effect of Gaining and Losing Access to Selective Colleges on Education and Labor Market Outcomes
Sandra E. Black
Jeffrey T. Denning
- American Economic Journal: Applied Economics (Forthcoming)
We use the introduction of the Top Ten Percent rule and administrative data from the State of Texas to estimate the effect of access to a selective college on student graduation and earnings outcomes. We estimate separate effects on two groups of students. The first—highly ranked students at schools which previously sent few students to the flagship university—gain access due to the policy; the second—students outside the top tier at traditional “feeder” high schools—tend to lose access. We find that students in the first group see increases in college enrollment and graduation with some suggestive evidence of positive earnings gains in some years after college. In contrast, students in the second group attend less selective colleges but do not see declines in overall college enrollment, graduation, or earnings.
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