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Loans for Higher Education: Does the Dream Come True?

  • Tomás Rau
  • Eugenio Rojas
  • Sergio Urzúa

This paper analyzes the impact of student loans for higher education on enrollment, dropout decisions, and earnings. We investigate the massive State Guaranteed Loan (SGL) program implemented in Chile in 2006. Our empirical analysis is based on the estimation of a sequential schooling decision model with unobserved heterogeneity. We supplement this model with labor market outcomes. The model is estimated using rich longitudinal data generated from administrative records. Our findings show that the SGL program increased the probability of enrollment and reduced the probability of dropping out from tertiary education: SGL reduced the first year dropout rate by 6.8% for students enrolled in five-year colleges and by 64.3% for those enrolled in institutions offering two- or four-year degrees. Moreover, we document that the SGL program has been more effective in reducing the probability of dropping out for low-skilled individuals from low-income families. When analyzing labor market outcomes, we find that SGL beneficiaries have lower wages (up to 6.4% less) than those who did not "benefit'' from the program. We attribute this negative result to the design of the SGL program, which has incentivized higher education institutions to retain students at the expense of not securing the quality of education

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 19138.

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Date of creation: Jun 2013
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Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:19138
Note: CH ED LS
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  1. David Bravo & Claudia Sanhueza & Sergio Urzua, 2008. "Ability, Schooling Choices and Gender Labor Market Discrimination: Evidence for Chile," Research Department Publications 3258, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.
  2. Diego Restuccia & Carlos Urrutia, 2002. "Intergenerational Persistence of Earnings: The Role of Early and College Education," Working Papers diegor-02-03, University of Toronto, Department of Economics.
  3. Carneiro, Pedro & Heckman, James J., 2002. "The Evidence on Credit Constraints in Post-Secondary Schooling," IZA Discussion Papers 518, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  4. Joshua Goodman, 2008. "Skills, Schools, and Credit Constraints: Evidence from Massachusetts," Discussion Papers 0809-03, Columbia University, Department of Economics.
  5. David Card, 1994. "Earnings, Schooling, and Ability Revisited," Working Papers 710, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
  6. Todd R. Stinebrickner & Ralph Stinebrickner, 2009. "Learning about Academic Ability and the College Drop-out Decision," NBER Working Papers 14810, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Lang, Kevin, 1994. "Does the Human-Capital/Educational-Sorting Debate Matter for Development Policy?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(1), pages 353-58, March.
  8. Satyajit Chatterjee & Felicia Ionescu, 2012. "Insuring student loans against the financial risk of failing to complete college," Quantitative Economics, Econometric Society, vol. 3(3), pages 393-420, November.
  9. 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," University of Western Ontario, CIBC Centre for Human Capital and Productivity Working Papers 20071, University of Western Ontario, CIBC Centre for Human Capital and Productivity.
  10. Solis, Alex, 2013. "Credit Access and College Enrollment," Working Paper Series 2013:12, Uppsala University, Department of Economics.
  11. Robert J. Willis & Sherwin Rosen, 1978. "Education and Self-Selection," NBER Working Papers 0249, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Thomas J. Kane, 1996. "College Cost, Borrowing Constraints and the Timing of College Entry," Eastern Economic Journal, Eastern Economic Association, vol. 22(2), pages 181-194, Spring.
  13. Susan Dynarski, 2002. "The Behavioral and Distributional Implications of Aid for College," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(2), pages 279-285, May.
  14. 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.
  15. Claudio Sapelli., 2009. "Los Retornos a la Educación en Chile: Estimaciones por Corte Transversal y por Cohortes," Documentos de Trabajo 349, Instituto de Economia. Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile..
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