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The Federal Student Loan Program: Quantitative Implications for College Enrollment and Default Rates

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  • Felicia Ionescu

    (Colgate University)

Abstract

I quantify the effects of alternative student loan policies on college enrollment, borrowing behavior, and default rates in a heterogeneous model of life-cycle earnings and human capital accumulation. I find that the combination of learning ability and initial stock of human capital drives the decision to enroll in college, while parental wealth has minimal effects on enrollment. Repayment flexibility increases enrollment significantly, whereas relaxation of eligibility requirements has little effect on enrollment or default rates. The former policy benefits low-income households, while the latter has negligible effects on these households. (Copyright: Elsevier)

Suggested Citation

  • Felicia Ionescu, 2009. "The Federal Student Loan Program: Quantitative Implications for College Enrollment and Default Rates," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 12(1), pages 205-231, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:red:issued:07-196
    DOI: 10.1016/j.red.2008.09.004
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    Cited by:

    1. Gonzalo Castex, 2017. "College risk and return," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 26, pages 91-112, October.
    2. Lochner, Lance & Monge-Naranjo, Alexander, 2014. "Student Loans and Repayment: Theory, Evidence and Policy," Working Papers 2014-40, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, revised 12 Nov 2014.
    3. Yan Ji, 2017. "Job Search under Debt: Aggregate Implications of Student Loans," 2017 Meeting Papers 222, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    4. Felicia Ionescu, 2011. "Risky Human Capital and Alternative Bankruptcy Regimes for Student Loans," Journal of Human Capital, University of Chicago Press, vol. 5(2), pages 153-206.
    5. Robert J. Gary-Bobo & Alain Trannoy, 2015. "Optimal student loans and graduate tax under moral hazard and adverse selection," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 46(3), pages 546-576, September.
    6. Matthew T. Johnson, 2013. "Borrowing Constraints, College Enrollment, and Delayed Entry," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 31(4), pages 669-725.
    7. Ionescu Felicia A, 2008. "Consolidation of Student Loan Repayments and Default Incentives," The B.E. Journal of Macroeconomics, De Gruyter, vol. 8(1), pages 1-37, August.
    8. John Bailey Jones & Fang (Annie) Yang, 2011. "Skill-Biased Technical Change and the Cost of Higher Education: An Exploratory Model," Discussion Papers 11-02, University at Albany, SUNY, Department of Economics.
    9. Urvi Neelakantan & Ivan Vidangos & Felicia Ionescu & Kartik Athreya, 2016. "Investment Opportunities and the Sources of Lifetime Inequality," 2016 Meeting Papers 1177, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    10. John Bailey Jones & Fang Yang, 2016. "Skill-Biased Technical Change and the Cost of Higher Education," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 34(3), pages 621-662.
    11. Webber, Douglas A., 2015. "Are College Costs Worth It? How Individual Ability, Major Choice, and Debt Affect Optimal Schooling Decisions," IZA Discussion Papers 8767, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    12. Adam Looney & Constantine Yannelis, 2015. "A Crisis in Student Loans? How Changes in the Characteristics of Borrowers and in the Institutions They Attended Contributed to Rising Loan Defaults," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 46(2 (Fall)), pages 1-89.
    13. Uli KLEINWECHTER, "undated". "A Utility Function Based Approach Towards the Modeling of Migration in Village Equilibrium Models," EcoMod2010 259600092, EcoMod.
    14. Stephan Thomsen & Friederike von Haaren-Giebel, 2016. "Did tuition fees in Germany constrain students’ budgets? New evidence from a natural experiment," IZA Journal of European Labor Studies, Springer;Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit GmbH (IZA), vol. 5(1), pages 1-25, December.
    15. Gonzalo Castex, 2010. "Accounting for Changes in College Attendance Profile: a Quantitative Life-Cycle Analysis," Working Papers Central Bank of Chile 598, Central Bank of Chile.
    16. Kevin Donovan & Christopher Herrington, 2017. "Factors Affecting College Attainment and Student Ability in the U.S. since 1900," Working Papers 1701, VCU School of Business, Department of Economics.
    17. Lutz Hendricks & Christopher Herrington & Todd Schoellman, 2016. "The Changing Roles of Family Income and Academic Ability for US College Attendance," Working Papers 1602, VCU School of Business, Department of Economics, revised Apr 2017.
    18. Ben Heijdra & Fabian Kindermann & Laurie Reijnders, 2017. "Life in shakles? The quantitative implications of reforming the educational financing system," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 25, pages 37-57, April.
    19. Webber, Douglas A., 2017. "Risk-sharing and student loan policy: Consequences for students and institutions," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 57(C), pages 1-9.
    20. Hans A. Holter, 2015. "Accounting for cross‐country differences in intergenerational earnings persistence: The impact of taxation and public education expenditure," Quantitative Economics, Econometric Society, vol. 6(2), pages 385-428, July.
    21. Ben J. Heijdra & Fabian Kindermann & Laurie S. M. Reijnders, 2014. "Life in Shackles? The Quantitative Implications of Reforming the Educational Loan System," CESifo Working Paper Series 5013, CESifo Group Munich.
    22. Ionescu, Felicia & Simpson, Nicole, 2010. "Credit Scores and College Investment," Working Papers 2010-07, Department of Economics, Colgate University.
    23. Cooper, Daniel H. & Wang, J. Christina, 2014. "Student loan debt and economic outcomes," Current Policy Perspectives 14-7, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.
    24. Webber, Douglas A., 2016. "Are college costs worth it? How ability, major, and debt affect the returns to schooling," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 53(C), pages 296-310.
    25. Todd Schoellman & Christopher Herrington & Lutz Hendricks, 2015. "Family Background, Academic Ability, and College Decisions in the 20th Century U.S," 2015 Meeting Papers 465, Society for Economic Dynamics.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Student loans; Human capital; Default;

    JEL classification:

    • D91 - Microeconomics - - Micro-Based Behavioral Economics - - - Role and Effects of Psychological, Emotional, Social, and Cognitive Factors on Decision Making
    • E44 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Financial Markets and the Macroeconomy
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • I28 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Government Policy

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