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Estimating the Effect of Student Aid on College Enrollment: Evidence from a Government Grant Policy Reform

In: Income Taxation, Trans-Atlantic Public Economics Seminar (TAPES)

  • Helena Skyt Nielsen
  • Torben Sørensen
  • Christopher Taber

In this paper, we investigate the responsiveness of the demand for college to changes in student aid arising from a Danish reform. We separately identify the effect of aid from that of other observed and unobserved variables such as parental income. We exploit the combination of a kinked aid scheme and a reform of the student aid scheme to identify the effect of direct costs on college enrollment. To allow for heterogeneous responses due to borrowing constraints, we use detailed information on parents' assets. We find that enrollment is less responsive than found in other studies and that the presence of borrowing constraints only deters college enrollment to a minor extent.

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This chapter was published in:
  • Roger Gordon & Thomas Piketty, 2010. "Income Taxation, Trans-Atlantic Public Economics Seminar (TAPES)," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number gord08-1, October.
  • This item is provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Chapters with number 12122.
    Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberch:12122
    Contact details of provider: Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
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    Web page: http://www.nber.org
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    1. Neil Seftor Sarah E Turner, 2002. "Back to School Federal Student Aid Policy and Adult College Enrollment," Mathematica Policy Research Reports 28f7ccb624fd4f2a9a20d7075, Mathematica Policy Research.
    2. Rothstein, Jesse & Rouse, Cecilia Elena, 2011. "Constrained after college: Student loans and early-career occupational choices," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(1-2), pages 149-163, February.
    3. Stephen V. Cameron & Christopher Taber, 2004. "Estimation of Educational Borrowing Constraints Using Returns to Schooling," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 112(1), pages 132-182, February.
    4. Gary S. Becker & Nigel Tomes, 1994. "Human Capital and the Rise and Fall of Families," NBER Chapters, in: Human Capital: A Theoretical and Empirical Analysis with Special Reference to Education (3rd Edition), pages 257-298 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Meta Brown & John Karl Scholz & Ananth Seshadri, 2009. "A New Test of Borrowing Constraints for Education," NBER Working Papers 14879, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. James J. Heckman & Lance Lochner & Christopher Taber, 1998. "General Equilibrium Treatment Effects: A Study of Tuition Policy," NBER Working Papers 6426, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Susan M. Dynarski, 2003. "Does Aid Matter? Measuring the Effect of Student Aid on College Attendance and Completion," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(1), pages 279-288, March.
    8. Shea, John, 2000. "Does parents' money matter?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 77(2), pages 155-184, August.
    9. Pedro Carneiro & James J. Heckman, 2002. "The Evidence on Credit Constraints in Post--secondary Schooling," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 112(482), pages 705-734, October.
    10. Philippe Belley & Lance Lochner, 2007. "The Changing Role of Family Income and Ability in Determining Educational Achievement," NBER Working Papers 13527, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    11. Stephen Zeldes, . "Consumption and Liquidity Constraints: An Empirical Investigation," Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research Working Papers 24-85, Wharton School Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research.
    12. Thomas J. Kane, 1995. "Rising Public College Tuition and College Entry: How Well Do Public Subsidies Promote Access to College?," NBER Working Papers 5164, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    13. Wilbert van der Klaauw, 2002. "Estimating the Effect of Financial Aid Offers on College Enrollment: A Regression-Discontinuity Approach," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 43(4), pages 1249-1287, November.
    14. Philip Oreopoulos & Daniel Lang & Joshua Angrist, 2009. "Incentives and Services for College Achievement: Evidence from a Randomized Trial," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 1(1), pages 136-63, January.
    15. Richard Blundell & Alan Duncan & Costas Meghir, 1995. "Estimating labour supply responses using tax reforms," IFS Working Papers W95/07, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
    16. David Card, 2000. "Estimating the Return to Schooling: Progress on Some Persistent Econometric Problems," NBER Working Papers 7769, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    17. Jacob Arendt, 2013. "The effect of public financial aid on dropout from and completion of university education: evidence from a student grant reform," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 44(3), pages 1545-1562, June.
    18. Todd R. Stinebrickner & Ralph Stinebrickner, 2007. "The Effect of Credit Constraints on the College Drop-Out Decision A Direct Approach Using a New Panel Study," NBER Working Papers 13340, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    19. McPherson, Michael S & Schapiro, Morton Owen, 1991. "Does Student Aid Affect College Enrollment? New Evidence on a Persistent Controversy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(1), pages 309-18, March.
    20. Stephen V. Cameron & James J. Heckman, 1998. "Life Cycle Schooling and Dynamic Selection Bias: Models and Evidence for Five Cohorts of American Males," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 106(2), pages 262-333, April.
    21. Card, David, 1999. "The causal effect of education on earnings," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 30, pages 1801-1863 Elsevier.
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