The Evidence on Credit Constraints in Post-Secondary Schooling
42 Pages Posted: 11 Jul 2002 Last revised: 19 Jul 2002
Date Written: July 2002
This paper examines the family income -- college enrollment relationship and the evidence on credit constraints in post-secondary schooling. We distinguish short-run liquidity constraints from the long-term factors that promote cognitive and noncognitive ability. Long-run factors crystallized in ability are the major determinants of the family income -- schooling relationship, although there is some evidence that up to 8% of the U.S. population is credit constrained in a short-run sense. Evidence that IV estimates of the returns to schooling exceed OLS estimates is sometimes claimed to support the existence of substantial credit constraints. This argument is critically examined.
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