College course scarcity and time to degree
Michal Kurlaender, Jacob Jackson, University of California, Davis, United States ; Jessica S. Howell, The College Board, United States ; Eric Grodsky, University of Wisconsin, Madison, United States
Economics of Education Review Volume 41, Number 1, ISSN 0272-7757 Publisher: Elsevier Ltd
College students are taking longer to earn baccalaureate degrees now than ever before, but little is known about institutional factors that may contribute to this trend. In this paper we investigate an important institutional constraint—course scarcity—that we hypothesize may be associated with increased time to degree. We employ a unique administrative dataset from a large, moderately selective, public institution and use an instrumental variables approach, identifying off the random registration times assigned to students. Results suggest that course scarcity does not delay students’ graduation. We explore alternative explanations for our findings and discuss a variety of other factors correlated with time to baccalaureate completion.
Kurlaender, M., Jackson, J., Howell, J.S. & Grodsky, E. (2014). College course scarcity and time to degree. Economics of Education Review, 41(1), 24-39. Elsevier Ltd.