IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/red/sed017/238.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Life after Debt: Post-Graduation Consequences of Federal Student Loans

Author

Listed:
  • Nicolas Ziebarth

    (Auburn University)

  • Martin Gervais

    (University of Iowa)

Abstract

We estimate the causal effect of student loans on post-graduation outcomes exploiting a kink in the formula determining the eligibility for need-based federal student loans. Using a nationally representative sample of students graduating with a bachelor's degree in 1993, we establish that student debt leads to lower earnings soon after graduation, an effect which dissipates over time. Surprisingly, the negative effect on earnings is driven by a decline in hours worked rather than the wage rate. Students with debt tend to be less ``choosy'' on the job market: they are more inclined to accept part-time jobs as well as jobs that are less related to their degree and offer limited career potential.

Suggested Citation

  • Nicolas Ziebarth & Martin Gervais, 2017. "Life after Debt: Post-Graduation Consequences of Federal Student Loans," 2017 Meeting Papers 238, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  • Handle: RePEc:red:sed017:238
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://economicdynamics.org/meetpapers/2017/paper_238.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Lance Lochner & Alexander Monge-Naranjo, 2014. "Student Loans and Repayment: Theory, Evidence and Policy," Working Papers 2014-40, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
    2. Jeffrey T. Denning, 2019. "Born under a Lucky Star: Financial Aid, College Completion, Labor Supply, and Credit Constraints," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 54(3), pages 760-784.
    3. Eric Bettinger & Oded Gurantz & Laura Kawano & Bruce Sacerdote, 2016. "The Long Run Impacts of Merit Aid: Evidence from California’s Cal Grant," NBER Working Papers 22347, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. David E. Card & David S. Lee & Zhuan Pei & Andrea Weber, 2012. "Nonlinear Policy Rules and the Identification and Estimation of Causal Effects in a Generalized Regression Kink Design," NRN working papers 2012-14, The Austrian Center for Labor Economics and the Analysis of the Welfare State, Johannes Kepler University Linz, Austria.
    5. Sarah R. Cohodes & Joshua S. Goodman, 2014. "Merit Aid, College Quality, and College Completion: Massachusetts' Adams Scholarship as an In-Kind Subsidy," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 6(4), pages 251-285, October.
    6. Yan Ji, 2017. "Job Search under Debt: Aggregate Implications of Student Loans," 2017 Meeting Papers 222, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    7. Sebastian Calonico & Matias D. Cattaneo & Rocio Titiunik, 2014. "Robust Nonparametric Confidence Intervals for Regression‐Discontinuity Designs," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 82, pages 2295-2326, November.
    8. Gervais, Martin & Jaimovich, Nir & Siu, Henry E. & Yedid-Levi, Yaniv, 2016. "What should I be when I grow up? Occupations and unemployment over the life cycle," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 83(C), pages 54-70.
    9. Monks, James, 2001. "Loan burdens and educational outcomes," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 20(6), pages 545-550, December.
    10. Susan M. Dynarski, 2003. "Does Aid Matter? Measuring the Effect of Student Aid on College Attendance and Completion," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(1), pages 279-288, March.
    11. Josh Kinsler & Ronni Pavan, 2015. "The Specificity of General Human Capital: Evidence from College Major Choice," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 33(4), pages 933-972.
    12. Gicheva, Dora, 2016. "Student loans or marriage? A look at the highly educated," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 53(C), pages 207-216.
    13. Rothstein, Jesse & Rouse, Cecilia Elena, 2011. "Constrained after college: Student loans and early-career occupational choices," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(1), pages 149-163.
    14. Arcidiacono, Peter, 2004. "Ability sorting and the returns to college major," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 121(1-2), pages 343-375.
    15. Wise, David A, 1975. "Academic Achievement and Job Performance," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 65(3), pages 350-366, June.
    16. Guido Imbens & Karthik Kalyanaraman, 2012. "Optimal Bandwidth Choice for the Regression Discontinuity Estimator," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 79(3), pages 933-959.
    17. Hamermesh, Daniel S. & Donald, Stephen G., 2008. "The effect of college curriculum on earnings: An affinity identifier for non-ignorable non-response bias," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 144(2), pages 479-491, June.
    18. Alvaro Mezza & Shane M. Sherlund & Kamila Sommer, 2014. "Student Loans and Homeownership Trends," FEDS Notes 2014-10-15, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    19. Andrew Gelman & Guido Imbens, 2019. "Why High-Order Polynomials Should Not Be Used in Regression Discontinuity Designs," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 37(3), pages 447-456, July.
    20. Rumberger, Russell W. & Thomas, Scott L., 1993. "The economic returns to college major, quality and performance: A multilevel analysis of recent graduates," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 12(1), pages 1-19, March.
    21. Fenaba Addo, 2014. "Debt, Cohabitation, and Marriage in Young Adulthood," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 51(5), pages 1677-1701, October.
    22. Minicozzi, Alexandra, 2005. "The short term effect of educational debt on job decisions," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 24(4), pages 417-430, August.
    23. Benjamin M. Marx & Lesley J. Turner, 2015. "Borrowing Trouble? Student Loans, the Cost of Borrowing, and Implications for the Effectiveness of Need-Based Grant Aid," NBER Working Papers 20850, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    24. McCrary, Justin, 2008. "Manipulation of the running variable in the regression discontinuity design: A density test," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 142(2), pages 698-714, February.
    25. Philip Oreopoulos & Till von Wachter & Andrew Heisz, 2012. "The Short- and Long-Term Career Effects of Graduating in a Recession," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 4(1), pages 1-29, January.
    26. David Deming & Susan Dynarski, 2009. "Into College, Out of Poverty? Policies to Increase the Postsecondary Attainment of the Poor," NBER Working Papers 15387, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    27. Ethel B. Jones & John D. Jackson, 1990. "College Grades and Labor Market Rewards," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 25(2), pages 253-266.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Britton, Jack & Gruber, Jonathan, 2020. "Do income contingent student loans reduce labor supply?," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 79(C).
    2. Mi Luo & Simon Mongey, 2019. "Assets and Job Choice: Student Debt, Wages, and Job Satisfaction," 2019 Meeting Papers 1220, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    3. Mi Luo & Simon Mongey, 2019. "Assets and Job Choice: Student Debt, Wages and Amenities," NBER Working Papers 25801, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Montoya, Ana Maria & Noton, Carlos & Solis, Alex, 2018. "The Returns to College Choice: Loans, Scholarships and Labor Outcomes," Working Paper Series 2018:12, Uppsala University, Department of Economics.
    2. Arpita Patnaik & Matthew J. Wiswall & Basit Zafar, 2020. "College Majors," NBER Working Papers 27645, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Rodney J. Andrews & Scott A. Imberman & Michael F. Lovenheim, 2017. "Risky Business? The Effect of Majoring in Business on Earnings and Educational Attainment," NBER Working Papers 23575, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Jeffrey T. Denning & Benjamin M. Marx & Lesley J. Turner, 2019. "ProPelled: The Effects of Grants on Graduation, Earnings, and Welfare," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 11(3), pages 193-224, July.
    5. Tafreschi, Darjusch & Thiemann, Petra, 2016. "Doing it twice, getting it right? The effects of grade retention and course repetition in higher education," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 55(C), pages 198-219.
    6. Lauren Schudde & Judith Scott-Clayton, 2016. "Pell Grants as Performance-Based Scholarships? An Examination of Satisfactory Academic Progress Requirements in the Nation’s Largest Need-Based Aid Program," Research in Higher Education, Springer;Association for Institutional Research, vol. 57(8), pages 943-967, December.
    7. Stella Min & Miles G. Taylor, 2018. "Racial and Ethnic Variation in the Relationship Between Student Loan Debt and the Transition to First Birth," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 55(1), pages 165-188, February.
    8. Adam C. Sales & Ben B. Hansen, 2020. "Limitless Regression Discontinuity," Journal of Educational and Behavioral Statistics, , vol. 45(2), pages 143-174, April.
    9. Prakash, Nishith & Rockmore, Marc & Uppal, Yogesh, 2019. "Do criminally accused politicians affect economic outcomes? Evidence from India," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 141(C).
    10. Kirkebøen, Lars & Leuven, Edwin & Mogstad, Magne, 2014. "Field of Study, Earnings, and Self-Selection," Memorandum 29/2014, Oslo University, Department of Economics.
    11. Welch, Jilleah G., 2014. "HOPE for community college students: The impact of merit aid on persistence, graduation, and earnings," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 43(C), pages 1-20.
    12. Bradley, Elizabeth S., 2012. "The Effect of the Business Cycle on Freshman Major Choice," MPRA Paper 42412, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    13. Leopoldo Fergusson & Pablo Querubin & Nelson A. Ruiz & Juan F. Vargas, 2021. "The Real Winner's Curse," American Journal of Political Science, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 65(1), pages 52-68, January.
    14. Nene Oumou & Jonathan Goyette, 2016. "Can microcredit impact the activity of small and medium enterprises? New evidence from a Regression Discontinuity Design in Panama," Cahiers de recherche 16-05, Departement d'Economique de l'École de gestion à l'Université de Sherbrooke.
    15. Matteo Picchio & Jan C. van Ours, 2020. "Mental Health Effects of Retirement," De Economist, Springer, vol. 168(3), pages 419-452, September.
    16. Böckerman, Petri & Kanninen, Ohto & Suoniemi, Ilpo, 2014. "A Kink that Makes You Sick: the Effect of Sick Pay on Absence in a Social Insurance System," MPRA Paper 61010, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    17. Petri Böckerman & Ohto Kanninen & Ilpo Suoniemi, 2018. "A kink that makes you sick: The effect of sick pay on absence," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 33(4), pages 568-579, June.
    18. Sarena Goodman & Adam Isen & Constantine Yannelis, 2018. "A Day Late and a Dollar Short : Liquidity and Household Formation among Student Borrowers," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2018-025, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    19. Jules Gazeaud & Claire Ricard, 2021. "Conditional Cash Transfers and the Learning Crisis : Evidence from Tayssir Scale-up in Morocco," Working Papers hal-03137463, HAL.
    20. Lindsay C. Page & Judith Scott-Clayton, 2015. "Improving College Access in the United States: Barriers and Policy Responses," NBER Working Papers 21781, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • I22 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Educational Finance; Financial Aid
    • I26 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Returns to Education
    • J32 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Nonwage Labor Costs and Benefits; Retirement Plans; Private Pensions
    • J33 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Compensation Packages; Payment Methods

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:red:sed017:238. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Christian Zimmermann). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/sedddea.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.