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Progressive Income-Contingent Student Loans

Students collaborating

Yue Hua and George Kudrna

Abstract: Progressive income contingent loans (ICLs) for college students, where repayment rates increase with income, may provide additional insurance against income risks after graduation. We study how the progressiveness of ICLs affects life-cycle behaviors and welfare. We document stylized facts on education in Australia, where recent reforms made ICLs more progressive. We found correlations between reforms and enrolment rates. We estimate income dynamics and found that progressive ICLs provide more insurance in the first repaying years. Lastly, we build a heterogenous-agent life-cycle model and find that progressive ICLs induce higher education attainment and welfare than non-contingent loans or linear ICLs.

KeywordsStudent loans, income-contingent repayment, income dynamics, heterogeneous-agent life-cycle model


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