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Democratization or Diversion? The Effect of Community Colleges on Educational Attainment

Cecilia Elena Rouse
Journal of Business & Economic Statistics
Vol. 13, No. 2, JBES Symposium on Program and Policy Evaluation (Apr., 1995), pp. 217-224
DOI: 10.2307/1392376
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1392376
Page Count: 8
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Democratization or Diversion? The Effect of Community Colleges on Educational Attainment
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Abstract

This article estimates the impact of community colleges on educational attainment. Community colleges give those who might not have otherwise attended college the ability to do so (democratization); they also attract students who might otherwise have attended a four-year college (diversion). The effect of democratization on educational attainment is nonnegative; the effect of diversion is unclear a priori. I use variation in access to community colleges as instrumental variables to address self-selection into types of colleges. The results suggest that two-year college students diverted from a four-year college complete fewer years of education. Overall, however, community colleges appear to increase total years of schooling but do not appear to change the likelihood of attaining a bachelor's degree.

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