Abstract

This paper examines the effect of attending the flagship state university on the earnings of 28 to 33 year olds by combining confidential admissions records from a large state university with earnings data collected through the state's unemployment insurance program. To distinguish the effect of attending the flagship state university from the effects of confounding factors correlated with the university's admission decision or the applicant's enrollment decision, I exploit a large discontinuity in the probability of enrollment at the admission cutoff. The results indicate that attending the most selective state university causes earnings to be approximately 20% higher for white men.

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