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Ruhr Economic Papers #996


Philipp Markus

Effects of Access to Universities on Education and Migration Decisions

The paper examines the effect of access to universities on education and migration decisions of young adults. So far, studies on the causal effect of education on mobility have mainly focused
on labor market mobility of high-skilled workers after finishing their educational career, due to the lack of suitable data or the problem of endogeneity between education and mobility. I
exploit the exogenous variation induced by a large-scale tertiary education expansion reform beginning in the 1970s in Sweden to investigate the impact of the change in access to universities
on college participation rates and migration patterns of high school graduates. Using individual administrative data, I find that if a new higher education institution opens in a municipality,
the high school graduates of that location are 6.6% more likely to attend college. At the same time, their propensity to move out of the municipality in the four years after finishing secondary
education decreases by 10.1%. In contrast, high school graduates in the catchment area of the new institution show no change in college participation rates and, if anything, an increased
propensity to leave the municipality of high school graduation. My results indicate that the effects on education and migration are mainly local and non-linear in geographical distance.

ISBN: 978-3-96973-162-8

JEL-Klassifikation: I23, I28, J11, R23, R58

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