The Effect of College Acquisitions and Mergers on Student Dropout Behaviour : Evidence from the UK

Iraci Capuccinello, Rossella and Bradley, Steve (2020) The Effect of College Acquisitions and Mergers on Student Dropout Behaviour : Evidence from the UK. Oxford Economic Papers, 72 (3). 606–632. ISSN 0030-7653

[thumbnail of College_Merger_Paper_REVISED_Final]
Text (College_Merger_Paper_REVISED_Final)
College_Merger_Paper_REVISED_Final.pdf - Accepted Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial.

Download (652kB)


We investigate the effect of college acquisitions on the probability of students dropping out of college. Using administrative data for the further education sector, which covers multiple cohorts, we estimate matching models and combine them with difference-in-differences methods to remove the effects of unobserved student and college heterogeneity. Overall our findings show that acquisitions reduce the probability of dropout by 0.01 percentage points, but this varies in magnitude and direction over time. In general, positive effects of acquisitions on drop out behaviour tend to be small (e.g. 0.001 for acquisitions in 2004) and dissipate over time, whereas negative effects persist and tend to increase in magnitude over time (e.g. -0.05 one year later and -0.07 two years later). We discuss the implications for policy and practice in the sector, as well as suggesting a need for similar analyses in other education sectors, such as primary and secondary schooling.

Item Type:
Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title:
Oxford Economic Papers
Additional Information:
This is a pre-copy-editing, author-produced PDF of an article accepted for publication in Oxford Economic Papers following peer review. The definitive publisher-authenticated version Rossella Iraci Capuccinello, Steve Bradley, The effect of college acquisitions and mergers on student dropout behaviour: evidence from the UK, Oxford Economic Papers, Volume 72, Issue 3, July 2020, Pages 606–632 is available online at:
Uncontrolled Keywords:
?? economics and econometrics ??
ID Code:
Deposited By:
Deposited On:
12 Feb 2020 08:50
Last Modified:
15 Jul 2024 20:23