DP13101 College Tuition and Income Inequality
|Author(s):||Zhifeng Cai, Jonathan Heathcote|
|Publication Date:||August 2018|
|Keyword(s):||Club goods, College tuition, Income inequality|
|JEL(s):||I22, I23, I24|
|Programme Areas:||Labour Economics, Macroeconomics and Growth|
|Link to this Page:||cepr.org/active/publications/discussion_papers/dp.php?dpno=13101|
This paper evaluates the role of rising income inequality in explaining observed growth in college tuition. We develop a competitive model of the college market in which college quality depends on instructional expenditure and the average ability of admitted students. An innovative feature of our model is that it allows for a continuous distribution of college quality. We find that observed increases in US income inequality can explain more than the entire observed rise in average net tuition since 1990 and that rising income inequality has also depressed college attendance.