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Testing for Educational Credit Constraints Using Heterogeneity in Individual Time Preferences

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  • Benjamin W. Cowan

Abstract

I develop a model in which individual time discount rates have a larger effect on human capital accumulation when credit constraints are binding. Impatient individuals obtain less schooling when borrowing constraints limit the ability to finance consumption during school. Using data from the NLSY79, I show that self-reported measures of time preferences have a significantly higher effect on the college attendance decisions of blacks than those of whites and the decisions of low-income youths than those of high-income youths. These results provide new evidence that members of disadvantaged groups obtain lower levels of schooling because they are credit constrained.

Suggested Citation

  • Benjamin W. Cowan, 2016. "Testing for Educational Credit Constraints Using Heterogeneity in Individual Time Preferences," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 34(2), pages 363-402.
  • Handle: RePEc:ucp:jlabec:doi:10.1086/683644
    DOI: 10.1086/683644
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    Cited by:

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    3. Jeffrey T. Denning, 2019. "Born under a Lucky Star: Financial Aid, College Completion, Labor Supply, and Credit Constraints," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 54(3), pages 760-784.

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