Over the last decade the Italian university system has been subject to a remarkable reform. The number of courses has increased over time; registrations of new students have been rising more than 13 per cent, despite the Italian unemployment rate of graduates remains above the European average. In this new context, characterized by a growing competitive pressure, this paper tries to understand which today are the main determinants in the demand for academic education in Italy. For this purpose, we use data collected from a national survey by ITD-CNR in the first half of 2008, by means of a web questionnaire (consisting of 44 questions) filled in by students attending their high school final year. These data have been used in order to estimate two binomial logit models, which reveal that inertial factors are the main determinants of the demand for academic education in Italy, both for those students aimed to certainly continue their career, and for those who are irresolute. Families’ social and cultural background seems relevant for resolute students, whereas it is not much significant for undecided students. Students’ individual skills modestly affect the demand for academic education from students aimed to continue their career, whereas individual skills seem to be very relevant for more perplexed ones. Finally, the economic constraints show an absolute lack of statistic relevance.
Keywords: Domanda, alta formazione, scelta universitaria
Jel Code: A23, I20