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The incentive effects of higher education subsidies on student effort

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  • Aysegül Sahin

Abstract

This paper uses a game-theoretic model to analyze the disincentive effects of low-tuition policies on student effort. The model of parent and student responses to tuition subsidies is then calibrated using information from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1979 and the High School and Beyond Sophomore Cohort: 1980-92. I find that although subsidizing tuition increases enrollment rates, it reduces student effort. This follows from the fact that a high-subsidy, low-tuition policy causes an increase in the percentage of less able and less highly motivated college graduates. Additionally-and potentially more important-all students, even the more highly motivated ones, respond to lower tuition levels by decreasing their effort levels. This study adds to the literature on the enrollment effects of low-tuition policies by demonstrating how high-subsidy, low-tuition policies have both disincentive effects on students' study time and adverse effects on human capital accumulation.

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  • Aysegül Sahin, 2004. "The incentive effects of higher education subsidies on student effort," Staff Reports 192, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fednsr:192
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Concetta Mendolicchio & Dimitri Paolini & Tito Pietra, 2014. "Income Taxes, Subsidies to Education, and Investments in Human Capital," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 16(1), pages 24-47, February.
    2. Tiago Sequeira & Elsa Martins, 2008. "Education public financing and economic growth: an endogenous growth model versus evidence," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 35(2), pages 361-377, September.

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