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Keeping it in the Family: Student to Degree Match

Guest speaker

Pedro Silva (CIPES)


Room -1.26 EEG UMinho & Online


Start06.12.2023 13:15End06.12.2023 14:15

Event summary


Pedro works as a researcher at the Centre for Research in Higher Education Policies (CIPES) and he is an Invited Assistant Professor at the School of Economics (FEP) of the University of Porto. He is also a research affiliate with IZA Institute of Labour Economics. His main fields of interest are Labour Economics, Economics of Education, and Microeconometrics. His research focus on the determinants of human capital from high school to higher education and on the transition to the labour market. He has publications in the Journal of Human Capital, Education Economics and European Journal of Education. It has been involved in integrating and leading teams in projects funded by public and private entities, such as Fundação para a Ciência e Tecnologia, Edulog, Fundação Calouste  Gulbenkian, and Ministério da Ciência e Inovação (Spain). He is a national representative on the European Network of Graduate Tracking. This group was created by the European Commission to support European Union Member States with the implementation of the Council Recommendation on tracking graduates.


This paper examines systematic inequalities in the match between students and the university degree they apply to, and ultimately enroll in. Using linked administrative data from schools, the centralized admissions system, and universities in Portugal, we follow high-school graduates on their journey into higher education

between 2013 and 2019. We create a transparent and continuous measure of student-to-degree match employing minimal assumptions. We find that students who are first in the family (FIF) to attend post-secondary education consistently match to lower quality degrees across the entire achievement distribution. These mismatches occur in a system with generous subsidization of higher education, and students are informed of their own qualifications and entry requirements before the application process. In contrast, there is no match between the genders. The gaps are larger at the application stage, implying that the Portuguese admissions system ameliorates these inequalities. The paper concludes by discussing the role of student preferences, competitive subjects and the consequences for intergenerational mobility.

To join the webinar, click on the link: https://videoconf-colibri.zoom.us/j/98214681211

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