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The impact of student loans on educational attainment: the case of a program at the pontifical catholic university of Peru


  • Luis García Núñez

    () (Departamento de Economía- Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú)


During the past decades, the Pontifical Catholic University of Peru (known as PUCP) has been giving student loans to some of its students with satisfactory academic performance but who face certain economic problems which might interrupt their studies. Although this program was created more than forty years ago, its results have not been rigorously evaluated. This document attempts to assess to what extent the program has benefited students. Because the collected data come from academic and social records, the completion of this task requires using modern techniques specifically designed to work with non experimental data. After estimating by propensity score matching with multiple treatments, I find a statistically significant impact of this program on the time a student employs to complete the course of study at PUCP (measured in semesters) only when a student was awarded with a loan for 6 semesters or more. That effect is not significantly different from zero when the loan lasts less than 6 semesters. Similar results were found when I analyzed the impact on the probability of degree completion of student loans, where students with loan were more likely to meet all graduation requirements by 6 years and a half after they start studying at PUCP. Again this effect was significant only when the student participates in the program for six semesters or more. However, the impact on that probability was small.

Suggested Citation

  • Luis García Núñez, 2010. "The impact of student loans on educational attainment: the case of a program at the pontifical catholic university of Peru," Documentos de Trabajo / Working Papers 2010-287, Departamento de Economía - Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú.
  • Handle: RePEc:pcp:pucwps:wp00287

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Gylfason, Thorvaldur, 2001. "Natural resources, education, and economic development," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 45(4-6), pages 847-859, May.
    2. Powell, Andrew, 1991. "Commodity and Developing Country Terms of Trade: What Does the Long Run Show?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 101(409), pages 1485-1496, November.
    3. Osmel Manzano & Roberto Rigobon, 2001. "Resource Curse or Debt Overhang?," NBER Working Papers 8390, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Ramey, Garey & Ramey, Valerie A, 1995. "Cross-Country Evidence on the Link between Volatility and Growth," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(5), pages 1138-1151, December.
    5. Joshua Aizenman & Brian Pinto, 2004. "Managing Volatility and Crises: A Practitioner's Guide Overview," NBER Working Papers 10602, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    More about this item


    Student Loans; Matching; Treatment Effect;

    JEL classification:

    • C13 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General - - - Estimation: General
    • C14 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General - - - Semiparametric and Nonparametric Methods: General
    • C21 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Cross-Sectional Models; Spatial Models; Treatment Effect Models
    • I22 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Educational Finance; Financial Aid

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