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Labor Market Effects of Short-Cycle Higher Education Programs : Challenges and Evidence from Colombia (English)

This paper estimates the labor market effects of enrolling in a short-cycle program in Colombia. Following evidence for the U.S., increasing access to short-cycle degrees might attract some students who would not have enrolled in higher education otherwise (i.e., the expansion or democratization margin), while also inducing other students to divert from bachelor's- and into short-cycle- degrees (i.e., the diversion margin). To identify responses along these margins, this paper uses an Instrumental Variables strategy and exploits local variation in the supply of short-cycle programs for the universe of high school graduates in 2005. Having at least one higher education institution specialized in short-cycle degrees within a 10 km radius of the student’s high school municipality increases enrollment in short-cycle programs by 3 percentage points, or 30 percent of the sample average. Results indicate that this enrollment increase is largely driven by students who would divert from bachelor's to short-cycle degrees due to changes in the local supply of short-cycle program. For these students, SCPs improve participation in the formal labor market among females, although they lead to lower monthly wages among males.


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    Ferreyra,Maria Marta, Galindo,Camila, Urzúa,Sergio

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    Policy Research Working Paper

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    Latin America & Caribbean,

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    Labor Market Effects of Short-Cycle Higher Education Programs : Challenges and Evidence from Colombia

  • Keywords

    Higher Education; local labor market condition; fewer years of education; formal labor market; high school graduate; labor market participation; labor market outcome; average monthly wage; higher education enrollment; higher education system; higher education institution; higher education program; linear probability model; number of siblings; economics of education; social science research; change in employment; community college program; higher education supply; Research Support; labor market earning; low poverty rate; higher education expansion; return to education; low income household; higher test score; less educated mothers; household survey data; data on student; information on population; change in behavior; employment rate; local supply; employment prospect; college enrollment; household income; enrollment increase; standard deviation; administrative datum; multiple choice; college tuition; low share; technological institute; human capital; low-income household; postsecondary education; endogenous variable; total sample; maternal education; Economic Policy; academic subject; development policy; estimation strategy; summary statistic; student work; student outcome; empirical evidence; rural population; high poverty; student enter; formal employment; statistical association; average wage; technical college; academic performance; male student; program enrollment; weighted average; enrollment change; household composition; average earning; labour market; local condition; disadvantaged backgrounds; average performance; statistical evidence; open access; longitudinal survey; transportation cost; public program; metropolitan area; head start; upward mobility; small sample; productive potential; economic statistic; lower costs; policy relevance; public use; data limitation; population center; instrumental variable; Social Sciences; labor economics; available data; recent evidence; enrollment rate; employment condition; high probability; municipality level; formal sector; average household



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Ferreyra,Maria Marta Galindo,Camila Urzúa,Sergio

Labor Market Effects of Short-Cycle Higher Education Programs : Challenges and Evidence from Colombia (English). Policy Research working paper,no. WPS 9717 Washington, D.C. : World Bank Group.