November 2017

IZA DP No. 11142: Graduation Incentives Through Conditional Student Loan Forgiveness

Ulla Hämäläinen, Kristian Koerselman, Roope Uusitalo

We evaluate a Finnish student financing reform which created substantial financial incentives for on-time graduation, and had the side effect of turning expected nominal interest rates on student loans strongly negative. We find that both the timing of graduation and the take-up of loans remained unaffected by the reform. This is consistent with earlier findings in the literature that students do not seem to process financial incentives well when framed as a loan.