Dropout patterns in higher education: social origin differences in the impact of early academic failure

Estelle Herbaut
Séminaire scientifique de l'OSC, 20 octobre 2017
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Séminaire scientifique de l'OSC 2017-2018

98, rue de l'Université 75007 Paris - salle Annick Percheron

vendredi 20 octobre 2017 de 10h30 à 12h

Dropout patterns in higher education:
social origin differences in the impact of early academic failure

Estelle Herbaut (IUE Florence)
Estelle Herbaut
PhD Candidate
Department of Political and Social Sciences
European University Institute, Florence, Italy

A large and growing body of literature has studied the predictors of success or failure in higher education and results have consistently shown that social background is a key determinant of higher education attainment in many countries. However, less is known on the mechanisms of social stratification in the last stage of the education system. This study  builds on the theoretical framework of the compensatory advantage mechanism to investigate the consequences of early academic failure on dropout patterns, depending of students’ social background. I apply a discrete-time method for competing risks event history analysis to estimate the occurrence of dropout from higher education over time. Results show that early academic failure is quite common, but that its consequences on dropout behaviours varies greatly depending of social origin, even when controlling for academic preparation.

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