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How Does Family Structure during Childhood Affect College Preparedness and Completion?
From 1996 through 2015, the share of twenty-eight-year-olds in the United States who attended college grew 8 percentage points while the share who completed college also grew 8 percentage points. But college attainment trends varied significantly by family structure. In particular, completion grew much faster for children from "high-resource" households (two parents with at least one holding a four-year degree) compared with children from "low-resource" households (one parent and no degree). New research suggests that this attainment gap expanded because high-resource households increased precollege investment relative to low-resource households in response to a rising college wage premium.
AUTHORS: Blandin, Adam; Herrington, Christopher; Steelman, Aaron
On the sources of movements in inflation expectations : a few insights from a VAR model
Using a VAR model that includes a survey measure of expected inflation, this article investigates the responses of expected inflation to temporary shocks to macroeconomic variables during three sample periods, 1953:1--1979:1, 1979:2--2001:1, and 1985:1--2007:1. Shocks to actual inflation, commodity prices, and expected inflation itself have been three major sources of movement in expected inflation, together explaining over 80 percent of the variability in expected inflation. Positive shocks to actual inflation, commodity prices, and expected inflation itself lead to increases in expected inflation that are large and long-lasting in the pre-1979 sample period, but muted and short-lived in post-1979 sample periods. Oil price shocks have only transitory effects on expected inflation. The positive response of expected inflation to higher oil prices found in the pre-1979 sample period is absent in post-1979 sample periods, suggesting that the Federal Reserve may have earned credibility.
AUTHORS: Mehra, Yash P.; Herrington, Christopher
College Access and Attendance Patterns: A Long-Run View
We harmonize the results of 42 different data sets and studies dating back to the early 20th century to construct a time series of college attendance patterns for the United States. We find an important reversal around the time of World War II: before that time, family characteristics such as income were the better predictor of college attendance; afterwards, academic ability was the better predictor. We construct a model of college choice that can explain this reversal. The model's central mechanism is an exogenous rise in the demand for college that leads better colleges to become oversubscribed. These colleges institute selective admissions and raise their quality relative to the remaining colleges, as in Hoxby (2009). Rising quality at better colleges attracts high-ability students, while falling quality at the remaining colleges dissuades low-ability students, generating the reversal.
AUTHORS: Hendricks, Lutz; Herrington, Christopher; Schoellman, Todd