College enrolment and parental transfers

A key consideration when studying government policies towards higher education is how do the decisions of teenagers, the decisions of parents, the general economic environment and government policies interact to determine college enrolment decisions. To fund higher education, students can work, can borrow, or can accept monetary transfers from their parents. But parental transfers will depend on tuition fees, government and private sector loans as well as on parental attitudes towards education and the labour market. We are building and estimating a model to study these interactions using data from the US National Longitudinal Survey 1997 which contains detailed data on transfers from parents to children as well as enrolments, loans and the other key variables. A key problem to overcome in the analysis is to model the dynamics and the uncertainty facing individuals.