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Jel Classification:I23 

Underemployment in the early careers of college graduates following the Great Recession

Though labor market conditions steadily improved following the Great Recession, underemployment among recent college graduates continued to climb, reaching highs not seen since the early 1990s. In this paper, we take a closer look at the jobs held by underemployed college graduates in the early stages of their careers during the first few years after the Great Recession. Contrary to popular perception, we show that relatively few recent graduates were working in low-skilled service jobs, and that many of the underemployed worked in fairly well paid non-college jobs requiring some degree of ...
Staff Reports , Paper 749

Working Paper
State Appropriations and Employment at Higher Education Institutions

his paper studies the impacts of state appropriations on staffing and salaries at public higher education institutions in the United States using employment and revenue data from the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System, along with an instrumental variables strategy borrowed from Deming and Walters (2018) and Chakrabarti, Gorton, and Lovenheim (2020). The instrument sidesteps the potential endogeneity of state appropriations for a given institution in a given year by interacting an institution’s historical reliance on state appropriations with total state appropriations for all ...
Working Papers , Paper 22-32

Tuition, Debt, and Human Capital

This paper investigates the effects of college tuition on student debt and human capital accumulation. We exploit data from a random sample of undergraduate students in the United States and implement a research design that instruments for tuition with relatively large changes to the tuition of students who enrolled at the same school in different cohorts. We find that $10,000 in higher tuition causally reduces the probability of graduating with a graduate degree by 6.2 percentage points and increases student debt by $2,961. Higher tuition also reduces the probability of obtaining an ...
Staff Reports , Paper 912

Discussion Paper
Anchor Institution Strategies in the Southeast: Working with Hospitals and Universities to Support Inclusive Growth

Engaging universities and hospitals to address economic disparities—often referred to as anchor institution strategies—has been understudied in the Southeast. The author examines efforts to launch anchor institution strategies in the Southeast. First, the author reviews the anchor institution concept in economic development, noting how the strategy has evolved from single institutions focusing on a set of neighborhoods to expanding to multi-institution collaboratives that attempt to tackle economic inequalities at a city or regional level. Second, the author offers case studies of New ...
FRB Atlanta Community and Economic Development Discussion Paper , Paper 2019-2

Working Paper
Making the (Letter) Grade: The Incentive Effects of Mandatory Pass/Fail Courses

In Fall 2014, Wellesley College began mandating pass/fail grading for courses taken by first-year, first-semester students, although instructors continued to record letter grades. We identify the causal effect of the policy on course choice and performance, using a regression-discontinuity-in-time design. Students shifted to lower-grading STEM courses in the first semester, but did not increase their engagement with STEM in later semesters. Letter grades of first-semester students declined by 0.13 grade points, or 23% of a standard deviation. We evaluate causal channels of the grade ...
Working Paper Series , Paper WP 2022-55

Working Paper
Institution, Major, and Firm-Specific Premia: Evidence from Administrative Data

We examine how a student?s major and the institution attended contribute to the labor market outcomes of young graduates. Administrative panel data that combine student transcripts with matched employer-employee records allow us to provide the first decomposition of premia into individual and firm-specific components. We find that both major and institutional premia are more strongly related to the firm-specific component of wages than the individual-specific component of wages. On average, a student?s major is a more important predictor of future wages than the selectivity of the institution ...
Working Papers , Paper 19-24

Working Paper
The Expanding Landscape of Online Education: Who Engages and How They Fare

Online offerings at traditional brick-and-mortar universities have become common, though some question if online courses can adequately substitute for thein-person college experience. We explore changes in undergraduate online course enrollment at a large, public 4-year system and the impacts of online courses onstudent outcomes. Online enrollment in courses nearly doubled from 2012 to 2019 when almost 40 percent took at least one class online. Female students and older students were especially likely to take online classes. Using an instrumental variables approach, we find that GPAs are ...
Working Paper Series , Paper WP 2022-52

Student Debt and Default: The Role of For-Profit Colleges

For-profit providers have become an important fixture of U.S. higher education markets. Students who attend for-profit institutions take on more educational debt and are more likely to default on their student loans than those attending similarly selective public schools. Because for-profits tend to serve students from more disadvantaged backgrounds, it is important to isolate the causal effect of for-profit enrollment on student debt and repayment outcomes as well as the educational and labor market mechanisms that drive any such effects. We approach this problem using a novel instrument ...
Staff Reports , Paper 811

Working Paper

Recent federal investigations and new regulations have resulted in restrictions on for-profit institutions? access to federal student aid. We examine the enrollment effects of similar restrictions imposed on over 1,200 for-profit colleges in the 1990s. Using variation in regulations linked to student loan default rates, we estimate the impact of the loss of federal aid on the enrollment of Pell Grant recipients in sanctioned institutions and their local competitors. Enrollment in a sanctioned for-profit college declines by 53 percent in the five years following a sanction. For-profit ...
Working Papers , Paper 17-12

Working Paper
An Empirical Analysis of Racial Segregation in Higher Education

This descriptive paper documents how segregation between blacks and whites across colleges in the United States has evolved since the 1960s. It also explores potential channels through which changes are occurring, and it uses recent data to study the issue of segregation within colleges. The main findings are as follows: (1) White exposure to blacks has been rising since the 1960s, whereas black exposure to whites increased sharply in the late 1960s and early 1970s and has fluctuated since then. Meanwhile, black-white dissimilarity and the Theil index fell sharply in the late 1960s and early ...
Working Papers (Old Series) , Paper 1435


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