Social and economic determinants of higher education choices in Poland
The aim of this paper is to find determinants of the choice of the field of study made by individuals undertaking higher education in Poland. One the most striking elements of the Polish transition process is a fundamental change of the conditions of the tertiary education market. With growing popularity of higher studies, choices related to this aspect of educational paths of young people gain more and more importance. In this empirical study we apply conditional multinomial logit model in order to find predictors of choices of different study profiles. Unobservable characterises for alternatives, regarding wages and probabilities of employment, were estimated using standard linear regression with Heckman selection procedure. The data used in the analysis come from the Polish General Social Survey for the period 1997-2010. General conclusion from our analysis is that economic factors are insignificant predictors of choice of the type and profile of higher education institution. Instead, social aspects, particularly related to the family background, seem to be key factors driving decisions of those individuals who decided to continue their education beyond secondary level. (original abstract)
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