IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/wbk/wbrwps/9428.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Raising College Access and Completion : How Much Can Free College Help ?

Author

Listed:
  • Ferreyra,Maria Marta
  • Garriga,Carlos
  • Martin,Juan David
  • Sanchez Diaz,Angelica Maria

Abstract

Free college proposals have become increasingly popular in many countries, yet cross-countryevidence indicates that higher college subsidies raise enrollment but not graduation rates. To capture the evidenceand evaluate proposals, this paper develops and estimates a dynamic model of college enrollment, performance, andgraduation. A central piece of the model, student effort, has a direct effect on class completion and an indirecteffect mitigating the risk of performing poorly or dropping out. The model is estimated using rich student-level datafrom Colombia, and multiple free college programs are simulated. Among them, universal free college expandsenrollment the most but does not affect graduation rates, thereby helping explain the evidence. Performance-based freecollege, in contrast, raises graduation rates yet has a smaller enrollment impact.

Suggested Citation

  • Ferreyra,Maria Marta & Garriga,Carlos & Martin,Juan David & Sanchez Diaz,Angelica Maria, 2020. "Raising College Access and Completion : How Much Can Free College Help ?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 9428, The World Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:9428
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://documents.worldbank.org/curated/en/589501602005455776/pdf/Raising-College-Access-and-Completion-How-Much-Can-Free-College-Help.pdf
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Rong Hai & James Heckman, 2017. "Inequality in Human Capital and Endogenous Credit Constraints," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 25, pages 4-36, April.
    2. Brant Abbott & Giovanni Gallipoli & Costas Meghir & Giovanni L. Violante, 2013. "Education Policy�and Intergenerational Transfers in Equilibrium," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 1887, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
    3. Lawrence F. Katz & Kevin M. Murphy, 1992. "Changes in Relative Wages, 1963–1987: Supply and Demand Factors," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, President and Fellows of Harvard College, vol. 107(1), pages 35-78.
    4. Akyol, Ahmet & Athreya, Kartik, 2005. "Risky higher education and subsidies," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 29(6), pages 979-1023, June.
    5. David Card & Thomas Lemieux, 2001. "Can Falling Supply Explain the Rising Return to College for Younger Men? A Cohort-Based Analysis," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, President and Fellows of Harvard College, vol. 116(2), pages 705-746.
    6. Heckman, James J & Lochner, Lance & Taber, Christopher, 1998. "General-Equilibrium Treatment Effects: A Study of Tuition Policy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(2), pages 381-386, May.
    7. Lance J. Lochner & Alexander Monge-Naranjo, 2011. "The Nature of Credit Constraints and Human Capital," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(6), pages 2487-2529, October.
    8. Lutz Hendricks & Oksana Leukhina, 2018. "The Return To College: Selection And Dropout Risk," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 59(3), pages 1077-1102, August.
    9. William N. Evans & Melissa S. Kearney & Brendan Perry & James X. Sullivan, 2020. "Increasing Community College Completion Rates Among Low‐Income Students: Evidence from a Randomized Controlled Trial Evaluation of a Case‐Management Intervention," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 39(4), pages 930-965, September.
    10. Brant Abbott & Giovanni Gallipoli & Costas Meghir & Giovanni L. Violante, 2019. "Education Policy and Intergenerational Transfers in Equilibrium," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 127(6), pages 2569-2624.
    11. Pedro Carneiro & James J. Heckman, 2002. "The Evidence on Credit Constraints in Post--secondary Schooling," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 112(482), pages 705-734, October.
    12. Oded Gurantz, 2020. "What Does Free Community College Buy? Early Impacts from the Oregon Promise," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 39(1), pages 11-35, January.
    13. Ralph Stinebrickner & Todd Stinebrickner, 2014. "Academic Performance and College Dropout: Using Longitudinal Expectations Data to Estimate a Learning Model," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 32(3), pages 601-644.
    14. Diego Restuccia & Carlos Urrutia, 2004. "Intergenerational Persistence of Earnings: The Role of Early and College Education," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(5), pages 1354-1378, December.
    15. Gianluca Violante & Giovanni Gallipoli & Costas Meghir, 2005. "Education Decisions, Equilibrium Policies and Wages Dispersion," 2005 Meeting Papers 522, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    16. Susan Dynarski, 2004. "The New Merit Aid," NBER Chapters, in: College Choices: The Economics of Where to Go, When to Go, and How to Pay For It, pages 63-100, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    17. Arcidiacono, Peter, 2004. "Ability sorting and the returns to college major," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 121(1-2), pages 343-375.
    18. Levhari, David & Weiss, Yoram, 1974. "The Effect of Risk on the Investment in Human Capital," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 64(6), pages 950-963, December.
    19. Richard Murphy & Judith Scott-Clayton & Gill Wyness, 2017. "The end of free college in England," CentrePiece - The magazine for economic performance 503, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
    20. Alex Solis, 2017. "Credit Access and College Enrollment," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 125(2), pages 562-622.
    21. Charles T. Clotfelter & Steven W. Hemelt & Helen F. Ladd, 2018. "Multifaceted Aid For Low‐Income Students And College Outcomes: Evidence From North Carolina," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 56(1), pages 278-303, January.
    22. Nicholas Trachter, 2015. "Stepping stone and option value in a model of postsecondary education," Quantitative Economics, Econometric Society, vol. 6(1), pages 223-256, March.
    23. Christopher Cornwell & David B. Mustard & Deepa J. Sridhar, 2006. "The Enrollment Effects of Merit-Based Financial Aid: Evidence from Georgia's HOPE Program," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 24(4), pages 761-786, October.
    24. Susan Dynarski, 2008. "Building the Stock of College-Educated Labor," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 43(3), pages 576-610.
    25. 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.
    26. Eric Bettinger, 2004. "How Financial Aid Affects Persistence," NBER Chapters, in: College Choices: The Economics of Where to Go, When to Go, and How to Pay For It, pages 207-238, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    27. Page, Lindsay C. & Scott-Clayton, Judith, 2016. "Improving college access in the United States: Barriers and policy responses," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 51(C), pages 4-22.
    28. Ali K. Ozdagli & Nicholas Trachter, 2011. "On the Distribution of College Dropouts: Wealth and Uninsurable Idiosyncratic Risk," EIEF Working Papers Series 1105, Einaudi Institute for Economics and Finance (EIEF), revised Mar 2011.
    29. Tyler Ransom & Esteban Aucejo & Arnaud Maurel & Peter Arcidiacono, 2014. "College Attrition and the Dynamics of Information Revelation," 2014 Meeting Papers 529, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    30. 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.
    31. Benjamin L. Castleman & Bridget Terry Long, 2016. "Looking beyond Enrollment: The Causal Effect of Need-Based Grants on College Access, Persistence, and Graduation," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 34(4), pages 1023-1073.
    32. Eckstein, Z. & Wolpin, K.I., 1997. "Youth Employment and Academic Perfomance in High School," Papers 24-97, Tel Aviv.
    33. Scott-Clayton, Judith & Zafar, Basit, 2019. "Financial aid, debt management, and socioeconomic outcomes: Post-college effects of merit-based aid," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 170(C), pages 68-82.
    34. Michael P. Keane, 2002. "Financial Aid, Borrowing Constraints, and College Attendance: Evidence from Structural Estimates," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(2), pages 293-297, May.
    35. Beneito, P. & Boscá, J.E. & Ferri, J., 2018. "Tuition fees and student effort at university," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 64(C), pages 114-128.
    36. Dan Ariely & Uri Gneezy & George Loewenstein & Nina Mazar, 2009. "Large Stakes and Big Mistakes," The Review of Economic Studies, Review of Economic Studies Ltd, vol. 76(2), pages 451-469.
    37. Oreopoulos, Philip & Petronijevic, Uros, 2019. "The Remarkable Unresponsiveness of College Students to Nudging and What We Can Learn from It," IZA Discussion Papers 12460, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    38. Dynarski, Susan, 2000. "Hope for Whom? Financial Aid for the Middle Class and Its Impact on College Attendance," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association;National Tax Journal, vol. 53(3), pages 629-662, September.
    39. Lutz Hendricks & Oksana Leukhina, 2017. "How Risky is College Investment?," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 26, pages 140-163, October.
    40. 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.
    41. Thomas Ahn & Peter Arcidiacono & Amy Hopson & James R. Thomas, 2019. "Equilibrium Grade Inflation with Implications for Female Interest in STEM Majors," NBER Working Papers 26556, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    42. Lutz Hendricks & Oksana Leukhina, 2017. "How Risky is College Investment?," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 26, pages 140-163, October.
    43. Susan Dynarski & C.J. Libassi & Katherine Michelmore & Stephanie Owen, 2018. "Closing the Gap: The Effect of a Targeted, Tuition-Free Promise on College Choices of High-Achieving, Low-Income Students," NBER Working Papers 25349, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    44. Jeffrey T. Denning, 2017. "College on the Cheap: Consequences of Community College Tuition Reductions," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 9(2), pages 155-188, May.
    45. Altonji, Joseph G, 1993. "The Demand for and Return to Education When Education Outcomes Are Uncertain," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 11(1), pages 48-83, January.
    46. Stephen V. Cameron & James J. Heckman, 1999. "The Dynamics of Educational Attainment for Blacks, Hispanics, and Whites," NBER Working Papers 7249, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    47. Stephen V. Cameron & James J. Heckman, 1998. "Life Cycle Schooling and Dynamic Selection Bias: Models and Evidence for Five Cohorts," NBER Working Papers 6385, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    48. Judith Scott-Clayton, 2011. "On Money and Motivation: A Quasi-Experimental Analysis of Financial Incentives for College Achievement," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 46(3), pages 614-646.
    49. Juliana Londoño-Vélez & Catherine Rodríguez & Fabio Sánchez, 2020. "Upstream and Downstream Impacts of College Merit-Based Financial Aid for Low-Income Students: Ser Pilo Paga in Colombia," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 12(2), pages 193-227, May.
    50. Berry, Steven & Levinsohn, James & Pakes, Ariel, 1995. "Automobile Prices in Market Equilibrium," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 63(4), pages 841-890, July.
    51. Gema Zamarro & Collin Hitt & Ildefonso Mendez, 2019. "When Students Don’t Care: Reexamining International Differences in Achievement and Student Effort," Journal of Human Capital, University of Chicago Press, vol. 13(4), pages 519-552.
    52. Susan Dynarski & Judith Scott-Clayton, 2013. "Financial Aid Policy: Lessons from Research," NBER Working Papers 18710, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    53. Kevin M. Stange, 2012. "An Empirical Investigation of the Option Value of College Enrollment," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 4(1), pages 49-84, January.
    54. Murphy, Richard & Scott-Clayton, Judith & Wyness, Gill, 2019. "The end of free college in England: Implications for enrolments, equity, and quality," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 71(C), pages 7-22.
    55. Stinebrickner, Ralph & Stinebrickner, T.R.Todd R., 2004. "Time-use and college outcomes," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 121(1-2), pages 243-269.
    56. Rong Hai & James Heckman, 2017. "Inequality in Human Capital and Endogenous Credit Constraints," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 25, pages 4-36, April.
    57. Keane, Michael P & Wolpin, Kenneth I, 2001. "The Effect of Parental Transfers and Borrowing Constraints on Educational Attainment," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 42(4), pages 1051-1103, November.
    58. Eric Bettinger & Oded Gurantz & Laura Kawano & Bruce Sacerdote & Michael Stevens, 2019. "The Long-Run Impacts of Financial Aid: Evidence from California's Cal Grant," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 11(1), pages 64-94, February.
    59. Ali Ozdagli & Nicholas Trachter, 2011. "On the distribution of college dropouts: household wealth and uninsurable idiosyncratic risk," Working Papers 11-8, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    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. Matsuda, Kazushige, 2020. "Optimal timing of college subsidies: Enrollment, graduation, and the skill premium," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 129(C).
    2. Elizabeth M. Caucutt & Lance Lochner, 2020. "Early and Late Human Capital Investments, Borrowing Constraints, and the Family," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 128(3), pages 1065-1147.
    3. 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.
    4. Page, Lindsay C. & Scott-Clayton, Judith, 2016. "Improving college access in the United States: Barriers and policy responses," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 51(C), pages 4-22.
    5. Rodolfo Manuelli & Carlos Garriga & Maria Ferreyra, 2016. "Theory of College, Student Loans, and Education Policy," 2016 Meeting Papers 1319, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    6. George Bulman & Robert Fairlie & Sarena Goodman & Adam Isen, 2021. "Parental Resources and College Attendance: Evidence from Lottery Wins," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 111(4), pages 1201-1240, April.
    7. Christian Belzil & Jörgen Hansen, 2020. "The evolution of the US family income–schooling relationship and educational selectivity," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 35(7), pages 841-859, November.
    8. Kartik B. Athreya & Felicia Ionescu & Urvi Neelakantan & Jessie Romero & Ivan Vidangos, 2020. "Who Values Access to College?," Richmond Fed Economic Brief, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, vol. 20(03), March.
    9. Molina, Teresa & Rivadeneyra, Ivan, 2021. "The schooling and labor market effects of eliminating university tuition in Ecuador," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 196(C).
    10. Brant Abbott & Giovanni Gallipoli & Costas Meghir & Giovanni L. Violante, 2019. "Education Policy and Intergenerational Transfers in Equilibrium," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 127(6), pages 2569-2624.
    11. Andrews, Rodney J. & Imberman, Scott A. & Lovenheim, Michael F., 2020. "Recruiting and supporting low-income, high-achieving students at flagship universities," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 74(C).
    12. Elena Mattana & Juanna Joensen, 2014. "Student Aid, Academic Achievement, and Labor Market Behavior: Grants or Loans?," 2014 Meeting Papers 707, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    13. Brant Abbott & Giovanni Gallipoli & Costas Meghir & Giovanni L. Violante, 2013. "Education Policy�and Intergenerational Transfers in Equilibrium," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 1887, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
    14. Aguirre, Josefa, 2021. "Long-term effects of grants and loans for vocational education," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 204(C).
    15. Kartik Athreya & Felicia Ionescu & Ivan Vidangos & Urvi Neelakantan, 2018. "Investment Opportunities and Economic Outcomes: Who Benefits From College and the Stock Market?," 2018 Meeting Papers 1151, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    16. John Bailey Jones & Fang Yang, 2016. "Skill-Biased Technical Change and the Cost of Higher Education," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 34(3), pages 621-662.
    17. Elena Mattana & Juanna Joensen, 2016. "Student Aid, Academic Achievement, and Labor Market Behavior," 2016 Meeting Papers 1102, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    18. Ionescu, Felicia & Simpson, Nicole, 2016. "Default risk and private student loans: Implications for higher education policies," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 64(C), pages 119-147.
    19. Matsuda, Kazushige & Mazur, Karol, 2022. "College education and income contingent loans in equilibrium," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 132(C), pages 100-117.
    20. Maria Ferreyra & Angelica Sanchez Diaz & Carlos Garriga, 2018. "A General Equilibrium Analysis of College Enrollment, Completion, and Labor Market Outcomes," 2018 Meeting Papers 1282, Society for Economic Dynamics.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Educational Sciences; Tertiary Education; Public Sector Economics; Public Financial Management; Public Finance Decentralization and Poverty Reduction; Labor & Employment Law; Rural Labor Markets; Labor Markets;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • E24 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Employment; Unemployment; Wages; Intergenerational Income Distribution; Aggregate Human Capital; Aggregate Labor Productivity
    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education

    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:wbk:wbrwps:9428. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    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 bibliographic 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.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Roula I. Yazigi (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/dvewbus.html .

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

    IDEAS is a RePEc service. RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.