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Jeudi 25 Octobre 2012
Julien GRENET (Paris School of Economics) présentera une communication :
"Means-Tested Grants and Students' Higher Education Decisions in France : A Regression Discontinuity Approach" avec Gabrielle Fack (Universitat Pompeu Fabra)
de 14 h à 15 h 30 en Salle S016 à l'INSEE-CREST,
15 Boulevard Gabriel Péri, 92245 MALAKOFF (Métro : Malakoff/Plateau de Vanves (Immeuble "Malakoff 2)).
Abstract : This paper evaluates the impact of France's largest means-tested grant program on student enrollment decisions, dropout behavior and graduation rates in higher education. The amount of financial aid that a student may receive over a 9-month period varies between 0 and 4,200 euros and is a step function of parental income and a composite score that takes into consideration family expenses. Combining comprehensive administrative data on means-tested grant applicants and on students enrolled in French universities over the period 2008-2010, we show that the discontinuities in the amount of financial aid awarded provide a credible source of identification of its effect on students' decisions at different stages of the university curriculum. Using a regression discontinuity approach, we find that the largest increase in the amount of aid, which occurs at the cutoff between a level 0 grant (tuition fees exemption only) and a level 1 grant (fees exemption plus 1,500 euros per year), is associated with a 2 to 4 percentage points increase in the probability of enrollment or re-enrollment. Moreover, our estimates indicate that the impact of means tested-grants is not short-lived. For students starting an undergraduate or a post-graduate program, we find that a level 1 grant has a positive impact on retention rates and, for postgraduate students, on degree completion. For students finishing an undergraduate or a postgraduate degree, being awarded a level 1 grant increases the probability of graduating on time by 2 to 3 percentage points. We interpret our findings as evidence that means-tested grants improve the educational outcomes of low-income students, both on the extensive margin of access to higher education and on the intensive margin of academic performance at university
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