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Dropping Out of University in Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic.

Collection : Documents de travail

276, 2023, 50 pages

This study empirically examines the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on university students’ enrollment behaviors using a comprehensive database of university enrollments from 2012 to 2021. Our analysis reveals a 10.6% decline in the probability of re-enrollment for the  subsequent academic year among the cohort affected by the pandemic. In particular, this effect is particularly pronounced among students pursuing STEM tracks and male students. To further investigate the underlying mechanisms, we employ a natural experiment framework in France, leveraging regional variations in policies adopted in response to the spread of the disease. Our results do not provide convincing evidence that stricter measures had an impact on student re-enrollment or on the likelihood of graduation. These findings contribute to our understanding of the disruptive consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic on students’ educational trajectories and highlight the importance of considering policy responses to mitigate adverse effects on educational outcomes.

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