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Title page for ETD etd-05162018-105751

Type of Document Dissertation
Author Arslan, Hayri Alper
Author's Email Address halper.arslan@gmail.com
URN etd-05162018-105751
Title Essays in college admissions and college major choice
Degree PhD
Department Economics
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Tong Li Committee Chair
Andrew Dustan Committee Member
Eric Bond Committee Member
Eun Jeong Heo Committee Member
Mumin Kurtulus Committee Member
  • Admission policies
  • Empirical analysis
  • Matching theory
  • College admissions
  • College major choice
Date of Defense 2018-05-09
Availability unrestricted
Choosing college and field of study is important as it shapes individuals' earnings, working conditions, and lifestyles. Economists are interested in knowing determinants of education decisions, how various mechanisms and educational policies affect students choices for a long time. Moreover, apart from the effects of students' education decisions on their lifestyles, these decisions have crucial impacts on macroeconomic factors in the long run because they are national level talent allocation problems. Therefore, understanding underlying factors, motivations, and strategies are crucial to design better admissions mechanisms, education and labor market policies, and achieve efficient talent allocation. To this end, there are many rich datasets that come from centralized admissions mechanisms and longitudinal studies providing environments to investigate students' choices from real world examples. This dissertation develops new empirical methods to understand students' college admissions and major choice behavior in three different settings. In the first chapter, a practical and data-driven econometric method is developed to understand students' college preferences from their reported rank-order lists in centralized college admissions, which requires weaker assumptions and has better predictive power. In the second chapter, the effects of students' college preferences on their college admissions preparation strategies are analyzed and the effects of preferences are documented using college admissions data from Turkey. The significant relationship between preparation and application behavior suggests new financial aid and affirmative action policies. In the third chapter, the effects of marriage-expectations on college-major choices are tested with a copula-based method using the National Longitudinal Study of Youth data and existence of these effects cannot be rejected.
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