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Credit Constraints in Higher Education in a Context of Unobserved Heterogeneity

Villena, Mauricio and Sanchez, Rafael and Rojas, Eugenio (2012): Credit Constraints in Higher Education in a Context of Unobserved Heterogeneity.

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Abstract

This article tests the existence of credit constraints on higher education access by estimating actual marginal returns in the context of unobserved heterogeneity. We estimate higher education returns for those who attend to it and compare them with those of individuals who are at the margin of attending to it. Following the Carneiro and Heckman (2002) reasoning, if the returns of the latter group are larger than those of the former one we could be in presence of unobservable barriers to higher education access, such as credit constraints. We use a rich administrative database composed from three sources: data of enrollment and graduation from the Chilean higher education system, test scores and labor market outcomes from the Chilean Unemployment Insurance database. Our results suggest that, given the existing financial aid scheme, the returns for those individuals that are at the margin of attending to higher education are lower than for those who decided to attend to it. This is, no evidence of credit constraints is found for the Chilean Higher Education system. However, when conditioning on family income, we find that for the richer households some evidence of credit constraints is found.

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