High Schools and Students' Initial Colleges and Majors

19 Pages Posted: 26 Sep 2018

See all articles by Rajeev Darolia

Rajeev Darolia

Martin School of Public Policy

Cory Koedel

University of Missouri - Economics

Date Written: October 2018

Abstract

We use statewide administrative data from Missouri to examine the explanatory power of high schools over student sorting to colleges and majors at 4‐year public universities. We develop a “preparation and persistence index” (PPI) for each university‐by‐major cell in the Missouri system that captures dimensions of selectivity and rigor and allows for a detailed investigation of sorting. Our analysis shows that students' high schools predict the quality of the initial university, as measured by PPI, conditional on their own academic preparation, and that students from lower–socioeconomic status high schools systematically enroll at lower‐PPI universities. However, high schools offer little explanatory power over major placements within universities.

JEL Classification: I2, J1

Suggested Citation

Darolia, Rajeev and Koedel, Cory, High Schools and Students' Initial Colleges and Majors (October 2018). Contemporary Economic Policy, Vol. 36, Issue 4, pp. 692-710, 2018, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3240832 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/coep.12390

Rajeev Darolia (Contact Author)

Martin School of Public Policy ( email )

Lexington, KY 40506
United States

Cory Koedel

University of Missouri - Economics ( email )

118 Professional Building
Columbia, MO 65211
United States

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