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ERIC Number: ED521489
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 118
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1241-9425-7
Three Essays on the Economics of Higher Educational Attainment
Hickman, Daniel C.
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, University of Colorado at Boulder
This dissertation examines issues regarding the educational attainment of the U.S. workforce. Specifically, I investigate the impact of various factors on the growth of postsecondary educational attainment. This includes issues pertaining to improving the skill-level of the workforce at the regional or state level, as well as for the domestic workforce as a whole. One of the main goals of the dissertation is to investigate how public policy may be utilized to help improve the education level of the workforce. In the first chapter, I examine the effectiveness of state merit-based aid scholarships in improving the skill-level of the state workforce. Given the mobility of workers, particularly those with a high level of education, it need not be the case that a state retains those whose postsecondary education is being subsidized. I examine the impact of Florida's Bright Futures Scholarship Program, which provides subsidies to a large fraction of Florida high school students that choose to pursue higher education within the state, on the location decisions of high-skilled Florida natives. The results indicate the scholarship program produces a significant increase in the probability that a college-educated Florida native chooses to locate in Florida after completing school. However, the large costs associated with the program may not justify the relatively modest increase in the probability of locating in Florida. In the second chapter, coauthor Will Olney and I examine the impact that increasing levels of globalization have had on individual investments in education within the U.S. We focus on two important measures of globalization, offshoring and immigration. To this point, these two phenomena have primarily impacted the effective supply of low-skilled in the U.S. labor market. This provides an incentive for low-skilled domestic workers to improve their level of education. We utilize the fact that exposure to globalization differs substantially across states to measure how state level changes in offshoring and immigration impact enrollments at higher education institutions within the state. The results indicate that increases in globalization lead to increases in enrollments. Specifically, increases in enrollments are largest at the community college level, as well as among older workers. These findings highlight the importance of investing in the quality of community college education, as this will likely play an important role in upgrading the skill-level of the U.S. workforce. In the final chapter I focus on the role that various aspects of the structure of higher education have on the educational attainment of the U.S. workforce. The composition of such institutions differs greatly across states with respect to both affiliation (public vs. private) and level (2-year vs. 4-year). The analysis examines the relationship between the flow of educational attainment and the subsequent stock of educated workers in the state, and whether the aspects of structure play an important role in this relationship. I find that changes in enrollments within states at public universities have a greater impact on the skill-level of a state's workforce than changes in enrollments at private universities. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
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Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Adult Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Florida; United States