Household Characteristics of Higher Education Participants
The aim of this paper is to analyse the characteristics of Irish households that have a member participating in higher education, using surveys of Irish households collected in 1994-95 and 1999-2000. The results do not show a significant effect of income; this is notable, especially alongside the strong result that longer-term factors such as household wealth and cultural capital have a significant effect. This lends support to the argument proposed by Heckman (2000) that family income is only important over the entire educational investment cycle of a child. However, the importance of grant eligibility is a notable result, which suggests that short-term financial constraints cannot be dismissed. A combination of suitably beneficial short-term and long-term factors may be important for encouraging participation in higher education.
higher education, human capital, credit constraints
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