Chris Belfield

Chris Belfield

Research Economist


BA Economics (1st Class), University of Cambridge, 2013

Chris joined the IFS in 2013 as a Research Economist in the Education sector. His research focuses on the costs and benefits of different teacher training routes and understanding the drivers of educational choices. He is involved with on-going IFS research into living standards and inequality.


Money or fun? Why students want to pursue further education

| Working Paper

We study students’ motives for educational attainment in a unique survey of 885 secondary school students in the UK. As expected, students who perceive the monetary returns to education to be higher are more likely to intend to continue in full-time education. However, the main driver is the perceived consumption value, which alone explains around half of the variation of the intention to pursue higher education. Moreover, the perceived consumption value can account for a substantial part of both the socio-economic gap and the gender gap in intentions to continue in full-time education.

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