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Student Loans and the Allocation of Graduate Jobs

Author

Listed:
  • Alessandro Cigno
  • Annalisa Luporini

Abstract

Higher education is not just a signal of innate ability. At least a certain level of educational achievement (degree level, degree mark) is strictly required to perform a graduate job. School leavers fall into two categories, the rich and the poor. Ability is distributed in the same way in both groups. Graduate jobs are differentiated by quality. The output of each graduate job-worker match depends on the worker’s ability and educational achievement as well as on the quality of the job. Individual wealth and ability are private information. Educational achievement and realized productivity are common knowledge. Graduates and graduate jobs are matched by tournament. In laissez faire, only the rich can buy enough education and enter the tournament. The poor are confined to the non-graduate labour market. This is doubly inefficient because some of the rich buy too much education, and some of the graduates have lower ability than some of the non-graduates. Student loans allow the more able among the poor to buy a higher education, discourage the less able among the rich from so doing, and bring individual education investments closer to their efficient levels. Unless the loan is large enough to allow a poor school leaver to invest as much, and thus get as good a job, as a rich one of the same ability, however, jobs of the same quality are assigned to graduates with the same education but different ability. Competition among employers will then result in poor graduates being paid a higher salary than rich graduates doing the same job.

Suggested Citation

  • Alessandro Cigno & Annalisa Luporini, 2015. "Student Loans and the Allocation of Graduate Jobs," CESifo Working Paper Series 5230, CESifo Group Munich.
  • Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_5230
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    File URL: http://www.cesifo-group.de/DocDL/cesifo1_wp5230.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Massimiliano Bratti & Abigail McKnight & Robin Naylor & Jeremy Smith, 2004. "Higher education outcomes, graduate employment and university performance indicators," Journal of the Royal Statistical Society Series A, Royal Statistical Society, vol. 167(3), pages 475-496.
    2. Robert J. Gary-Bobo & Alain Trannoy, 2008. "Efficient Tuition Fees and Examinations," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 6(6), pages 1211-1243, December.
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    4. Alessandro Cigno & Annalisa Luporini, 2009. "Scholarships or Student Loans? Subsidizing Higher Education in the Presence of Moral Hazard," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 11(1), pages 55-87, February.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    higher education; matching tournaments; credit rationing; separating equilibria;

    JEL classification:

    • C78 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Bargaining Theory; Matching Theory
    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design
    • I22 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Educational Finance; Financial Aid
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity

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