Driving Up Repayment: The Impact of the Gig-Economy on Student Debt
59 Pages Posted: 27 Jan 2021
Date Written: October 1, 2020
Using individual level credit information, I estimate the impact of access to ride-sharing on student debt repayment and take-up. I find that following the introduction of ride-sharing services in a city, individuals decrease their student debt balance and probability of default. These results are primarily driven by former students, who are 0.4pp more likely to finish repaying their student loans and are 0.8pp less likely to default in their student debt in the three years after ride-sharing arrives. This effect is absent for current students. For potential students, I find that access to ride-sharing increases the likelihood of getting a first student loan by 0.5pp. This suggests that there is a willingness to attend higher education that is not met given the structure of the current labor market, and that having access to the gig-economy is allowing individuals that would otherwise chosen not to enroll to do so. Taken together, results suggest that access to the flexible work improves student loan repayment rates, while simultaneously fostering enrollment.
Keywords: Student Debt, Gig-Economy, Household Debt, Labor Markets
JEL Classification: D10, G51, H81, I23, J22
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation