Evaluating Effects of Tuition Fees: Lasso for the Case of Germany

  • Date:

    June, 12th 2019

  • Author:

    Konstantin Görgen

  • Source:

    Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT)

  • Abstract

    We study the effect of the introduction of university tuition fees on the enrollment behavior of students in Germany and determine a significant negative impact of fees on student enrollment. We do this by using an appropriate Lasso-technique that is crucial for identification of the magnitude and significance of the effect in this case with potentially many relevant controlling factors and only a short time frame where fees existed. Furthermore, we explicitly control for spatial cross-effects capturing the heterogeneity in the introduction scheme of fees that originated from the ability of each federal state (“Bundesland”) to set its own educational policy. We show that a post-double selection strategy combined with stability selection identifies the true influencing variables, while a standard linear panel regression is not able to determine the magnitude of the effect of tuition fees in this case.