On the Design of Grant Assignment Rules
55 Pages Posted: 14 Apr 2021
Date Written: December 22, 2020
One of the main goals of grants is to reduce dropout rates. In this paper, we assess how different assignment rules target different students and how they affect dropout rates in the first year of enrollment. The analysis uses administrative data from all Italian universities for the period 2003-13. We find that awarding the grant to all eligible students would significantly increase public expenses, with only a slight reduction in the dropout rate. Since we find that the grants have a heterogeneous effect according to students’ characteristics, assignment rules keeping the number of grants constant have an impact on dropout rates. In particular, targeting high-performing students would minimize dropout rates amongst grant recipients, but it would slightly increase the overall dropout rate. On the other hand, targeting those who benefit the most achieves the maximum reduction in dropout rates at the cost of increasing the number of grant recipient dropouts.
Keywords: grants, treatment assignment, university dropouts
JEL Classification: C25, I21, I22
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation