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Ruhr Economic Papers #984

Student Performance in Large Cohorts: Evidence from Unexpected Enrollment Shocks

This article investigates the effects of large groups of first-year students on individual college performance. The study is based on administrative micro-level data from the universe of higher education institutions in Germany. The empirical strategy exploits shocks in undergraduate enrollment induced by policymakers’ underestimation of expected demand for college. The results show that students in large cohorts of freshmen have a lower probability to complete their degree on-time, partly because students take longer to attain their college degree and partly because more students are forced to de-register. The results are relevant for policymakers to promote educational expansion without jeopardizing student performance.

ISBN: 978-3-96973-149-9

JEL-Klassifikation: I20, I23, J08

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