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The Effect of a Student Aid Reform on Graduation: A Duration Analysis


  • Häkkinen, Iida

    () (Department of Economics)

  • Uusitalo, Roope

    () (Labour Institute for Economic Research)


In this paper we evaluate the changes in the times-to-degree at the Finnish universities in the 1990s. In particular, we evaluate the effect of the 1992 student aid reform that was intended to shorten the duration of university studies. We find that the student aid reform had only a modest effect, and that this effect was limited to the fields with long median durations. Most of the decline in the observed times-to-degree can be explained by an increase in the unemployment rate that reduced student employment opportunities.

Suggested Citation

  • Häkkinen, Iida & Uusitalo, Roope, 2003. "The Effect of a Student Aid Reform on Graduation: A Duration Analysis," Working Paper Series 2003:8, Uppsala University, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:uunewp:2003_008

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. John J. Siegfried & Wendy A. Stock, 2001. "So You Want to Earn a Ph.D. in Economics?: How Long Do You Think It Will Take?," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 36(2), pages 364-378.
    2. Ronald G. Ehrenberg & Panagiotis G. Mavros, 1995. "Do Doctoral Students' Financial Support Patterns Affect Their Times-To-Degree and Completion Probabilities?," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 30(3), pages 581-609.
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    Cited by:

    1. Agar Brugiavini & Carlo Carraro & Matija Kovacic, 2014. "Academic Achievements: Grades versus Duration," Working Papers 2014:13, Department of Economics, University of Venice "Ca' Foscari".
    2. Pietro Garibaldi & Francesco Giavazzi & Andrea Ichino & Enrico Rettore, 2012. "College Cost and Time to Complete a Degree: Evidence from Tuition Discontinuities," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 94(3), pages 699-711, August.
    3. Jason M. Lindo & Nicholas J. Sanders & Philip Oreopoulos, 2010. "Ability, Gender, and Performance Standards: Evidence from Academic Probation," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 2(2), pages 95-117, April.
    4. Avdic, Daniel & Gartell, Marie, 2011. "The study pace among college students before and after a student aid reform: some Swedish results," Working Paper Series, Center for Labor Studies 2011:15, Uppsala University, Department of Economics.
    5. Carmen Aina, 2010. "The Determinants of Educational Attainment, University Drop-out and Time-to-Degree. A focus on Italy," Working Papers 132, SEMEQ Department - Faculty of Economics - University of Eastern Piedmont.
    6. Brunello, Giorgio & Winter-Ebmer, Rudolf, 2003. "Why do students expect to stay longer in college? Evidence from Europe," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 80(2), pages 247-253, August.
    7. Avdic, Daniel & Gartell, Marie, 2015. "Working while studying? Student aid design and socioeconomic achievement disparities in higher education," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(C), pages 26-40.
    8. Ulla Hämäläinen & Kristian Koerselman & Roope Uusitalo, 2017. "Graduation Incentives Through Conditional Student Loan Forgiveness," Working Papers id:12273, eSocialSciences.
    9. Gunnes, Trude & Kirkebøen, Lars J. & Rønning, Marte, 2013. "Financial incentives and study duration in higher education," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(C), pages 1-11.
    10. Thomas Aronsson & Sören Blomquist, 2008. "Redistribution and Provision of Public Goods in an Economic Federation," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 10(1), pages 125-143, February.
    11. International Monetary Fund, 2007. "Finland; Selected Issues," IMF Staff Country Reports 07/278, International Monetary Fund.
    12. Carmen Aina & Eliana Baici & Giorgia Casalone, 2010. "Time-to-Degree: Students' Abilities, University Characteristics or What Else? Evidence from Italy," Working Papers 130, SEMEQ Department - Faculty of Economics - University of Eastern Piedmont.
    13. Sören Blomquist & Vidar Christiansen, 2008. "Taxation and Heterogeneous Preferences," FinanzArchiv: Public Finance Analysis, Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 64(2), pages 218-244, June.
    14. Hämäläinen, Ulla & Koerselman, Kristian & Uusitalo, Roope, 2017. "Graduation Incentives Through Conditional Student Loan Forgiveness," IZA Discussion Papers 11142, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    15. Giorgia Casalone & Carmen Aina & Eliana Baici, 2010. "Time-to-degree: Students' abilities, university characteristics or what else?," Investigaciones de Economía de la Educación volume 5,in: María Jesús Mancebón-Torrubia & Domingo P. Ximénez-de-Embún & José María Gómez-Sancho & Gregorio Gim (ed.), Investigaciones de Economía de la Educación 5, edition 1, volume 5, chapter 3, pages 67-86 Asociación de Economía de la Educación.
    16. Maja Mihaljevic Kosor, 2016. "Student Dropout in Higher Education: An Application of Hazard Functions," Proceedings of International Academic Conferences 3506156, International Institute of Social and Economic Sciences.
    17. Päällysaho, Miika Matias, 2017. "The Short- and Long-Term Effects of Graduating During a Recession: Evidence from Finland," Working Papers 96, VATT Institute for Economic Research.
    18. Aina, Carmen & Pastore, Francesco, 2012. "Delayed Graduation and Overeducation: A Test of the Human Capital Model versus the Screening Hypothesis," IZA Discussion Papers 6413, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    19. Hakkinen, Iida, 2006. "Working while enrolled in a university: does it pay?," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 13(2), pages 167-189, April.
    20. Carmen Aina, 2011. "The Determinants of Success and Failure of Italian University Students. Evidence from administrative data," Rivista Internazionale di Scienze Sociali, Vita e Pensiero, Pubblicazioni dell'Universita' Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, vol. 119(2), pages 85-108.

    More about this item


    Times-to-degree; university education; student aid; duration analysis;

    JEL classification:

    • I22 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Educational Finance; Financial Aid

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