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Estimating the Value of Higher Education Financial Aid: Evidence from a Field Experiment

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  • Christian Belzil
  • Arnaud Maurel
  • Modibo Sidibé

Abstract

Using data from a Canadian field experiment on financial barriers to higher education, we estimate the distribution of the value of financial aid for prospective students. We find that a considerable share of prospective students perceive significant credit constraints. Most individuals are willing to pay a sizable interest premium above the prevailing market rate for the option to take up a loan, with a median interest rate wedge equal to 6.8 percentage points for a $1,000 loan. The willingness to pay for financial aid is heterogeneous across students, with discount factors playing a key role in accounting for this variation.

Suggested Citation

  • Christian Belzil & Arnaud Maurel & Modibo Sidibé, 2021. "Estimating the Value of Higher Education Financial Aid: Evidence from a Field Experiment," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 39(2), pages 361-395.
  • Handle: RePEc:ucp:jlabec:doi:10.1086/710701
    DOI: 10.1086/710701
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    Cited by:

    1. Christian Belzil, 2018. "Évaluation de la valeur économique de l’aide financière pour l’éducation supérieure au Québec et en Ontario," CIRANO Project Reports 2018rp-08, CIRANO.
    2. Belzil, Christian & Sidibé, Modibo, 2016. "Internal and External Validity of Experimental Risk and Time Preferences," IZA Discussion Papers 10348, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    3. Jeffrey T. Denning & Benjamin M. Marx & Lesley J. Turner, 2019. "ProPelled: The Effects of Grants on Graduation, Earnings, and Welfare," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 11(3), pages 193-224, July.
    4. Jérôme Adda & Christian Dustmann & Joseph-Simon Görlach, "undated". "The Dynamics of Return Migration, Human Capital Accumulation, and Wage Assimilation," CReAM Discussion Paper Series 2111, Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration (CReAM), Department of Economics, University College London.
    5. Xavier D'Haultfoeuille & Christophe Gaillac & Arnaud Maurel, 2021. "Rationalizing rational expectations: Characterizations and tests," Quantitative Economics, Econometric Society, vol. 12(3), pages 817-842, July.
    6. Xavier D'Haultfoeuille & Christophe Gaillac & Arnaud Maurel, 2018. "Rationalizing Rational Expectations? Tests and Deviations," NBER Working Papers 25274, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Jagelka, Tomáš, 2020. "Are Economists' Preferences Psychologists' Personality Traits? A Structural Approach," IZA Discussion Papers 13303, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    8. Sandra E. Black & Jeffrey T. Denning & Lisa J. Dettling & Sarena Goodman & Lesley J. Turner, 2020. "Taking It to the Limit: Effects of Increased Student Loan Availability on Attainment, Earnings, and Financial Well-Being," NBER Working Papers 27658, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • I22 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Educational Finance; Financial Aid
    • I23 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Higher Education; Research Institutions
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity

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