The Right Way to Capture College “Opportunity”: Popular Measures Can Paint the Wrong Picture of Low-Income Student Enrollment

Authors: Caroline Hoxby, Sarah Turner

Higher education may be one of the most important channels through which people can attain improved life outcomes based on their merit rather than family background. If qualified students from lower-income families are underrepresented in higher education, there is potentially a failure not just in equity but in economic efficiency as well.

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Pensions and K-12 Teacher Retirement: An Analysis Using National Teacher Data

The retirement security landscape has changed drastically for most workers over the last thirty years – except for public school teachers and other state and local government employees. Many private-sector employers have stopped offering traditional retirement plans, while most state and local employees remain covered by defined benefit (DB) pension plans. 

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Cohort Crowding: How Resources Affect Collegiate Attainment

Authors: Sarah Turner, John Bound

Analyses of college attainment typically focus on factors affecting enrollment demand, including the financial attractiveness of a college education and the availability of financial aid, while implicitly assuming that resources available per student on the supply side of the market are elastically supplied. The higher education market in the United States is dominated by public and non-profit production, and colleges and universities receive considerable subsidies from state, federal, and private sources.

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Opportunities for Low Income Students at Top Colleges and Universities: Policy Initiatives and the Distribution of Students

Authors: Sarah Turner, Amanada Pallais

Whether the nation’s most selective and resource-intensive colleges and universities serve as “engines of opportunity” rather than “bastions of privilege” depends on the extent to which they increase the educational attainment of students from the most economically disadvantaged backgrounds (Bowen, Kurzweil, and Tobin, 2005). Less than 11 percent of first-year students matriculating at 20 highly-selective institutions are from the bottom quartile of the income distribution, leading to significant concerns from higher education leaders and policy makers about the role of higher education in promoting intergenerational mobility. 

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Trade in University Training: Cross State Variation in the Production and Use of College Educated Labor

Authors: Sarah Turner, John Bound, Jeffrey Groen, Gabor Kezdi

The main question addressed in this analysis is how the production of undergraduate and graduate education at the state level affects the local stock of university-educated workers. The potential mobility of highly skilled workers implies that the number of college students graduating in an area need not affect the number of college graduates living in the area.

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Closing the Gap or Widening the Divide: The Effects of the G.I. Bill and World War II on the Educational Outcomes of Black Americans

Authors: Sarah Turner, John Bound

The effects of the G.I. Bill on collegiate attainment may have differed for black and white Americans owing to differential returns to education and differences in opportunities at colleges and universities, with men in the South facing explicitly segregated colleges. The empirical evidence suggests that World War II and the availability of G.I. benefits had a substantial and positive impact on the educational attainment of white men and black men born outside the South. 

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Going to War and Going to College: Did World War II and the G.I. Bill Increase Educational Attainment for Returning Veterans?

Authors: Sarah Turner, John Bound

The end of World War II brought a flood of returning veterans to America’s colleges and universities. Yet, despite widespread rhetoric about the democratization’ of higher education that came with this large pool of students, there is little evidence about the question of whether military service, combined with the availability of post-war educational benefits, led these men to increase their investments in education - particularly at the college and university level. 

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