Munich Personal RePEc Archive

Access to Graduate Education in Brazil: predictors of choice and enrollment in master’s degree programs

Colombo, Daniel Gama e (2019): Access to Graduate Education in Brazil: predictors of choice and enrollment in master’s degree programs.


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This paper presents an assessment of the factors associated with access to master’s degree programs in Brazil, investigating whether there is evidence of inequity arising from students’ personal and socioeconomic characteristics. A rich and novel dataset comprising microdata on undergraduate college graduates and new master’s students is used for the empirical analysis. Students’ decisions to progress to graduate education are modeled as a two-stage process, and the parameters are estimated separately for each broad academic field using a conditional logit model for the first stage, and a logistic regression analysis for the second stage. The main findings are: (a) there is strong evidence of low mobility of students starting graduate education, and they are far more likely to choose a master’s degree program in the same university or close to where they graduated from college; (b) academic performance and activities during undergraduate program in college are associated with an increase in the relative odds of progressing to graduate education; (c) in most broad academic fields, no evidence that women, black or brown students, economically disadvantaged students, foreigners and people with disabilities are less likely to start a master’s program is found; and (d) a significant association between the odds of enrollment and parental education is not observed in nearly all fields. The study points to different recommendations and to further research questions to understand and improve graduate education in Brazil.

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