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Post-baccalaureate migration and merit-based scholarships

, Department of Policy Analysis and Management, United States ; , University of Chicago and NBER, United States

Economics of Education Review Volume 54, Number 1, ISSN 0272-7757 Publisher: Elsevier Ltd


For policymakers aiming to alter the migratory patterns of skilled labor, one potential tool involves subsidizing higher education. We present new evidence on the effects of merit aid scholarship programs – programs that offer partial or full tuition subsidies to high-achieving in-state students. Using Census data on 24 to 32 year olds in the U.S. from 1990 to 2010, we show that eligibility for merit aid programs slightly increases the propensity of state natives to live in-state, while also extending in-state enrollment into the late twenties. However, the share of a cohort both living in-state and having a BA is unchanged, with a possible decline in overall BA attainment. These patterns notwithstanding, the magnitude of merit aid effects is of an order of magnitude smaller than size of the treated population, suggesting that nearly all of the spending on these programs transfers resources to individuals whose ultimate migration decisions remain unchanged.


Fitzpatrick, M.D. & Jones, D. (2016). Post-baccalaureate migration and merit-based scholarships. Economics of Education Review, 54(1), 155-172. Elsevier Ltd. Retrieved March 21, 2023 from .

This record was imported from Economics of Education Review on March 1, 2019. Economics of Education Review is a publication of Elsevier.

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