Studies of educational achievement have focused primarily on individual, family, and school-level influences. Yet, economic theory suggests that the expected economic returns to obtaining an education are important also for young adults. Two important determinants of these returns, the costs of obtaining an education and the employment opportunities available after receiving education, are often shaped at the local and regional level. This research examines the socio-economic correlates with the decision to attend college in Sweden in 1995. Data obtained from a unique geographically descriptive micro database called TOPSWING (TOtal Population of SWeden, INdividual and Geographical database) make it possible to conduct analyses of the decision to attend college using numerous individual, family, neighborhood, and labor market region variables. This paper shows that few neighborhood or regional variables are associated with college attendance. However, the proportion of college educated residents at both the labor market region and neighborhood level increase the likelihood of attending college.


Rephann, Terance. 2002. The importance of local and regional attributes in the decision to attend college. Socio-Economic Planning Sciences. 36, 4: 291-307.

Powerpoint slide presentation of paper presented at the 46th Annual Meetings of the North American Regional Science Association Meetings in Montreal, Quebec, on November 11-14, 1999.

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