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Author:Chakrabarti, Rajashri 

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Student Debt and Default: The Role of For-Profit Colleges

For-profit providers have become an important fixture of U.S. higher education markets. Students who attend for-profit institutions take on more educational debt and are more likely to default on their student loans than those attending similarly selective public schools. Because for-profits tend to serve students from more disadvantaged backgrounds, it is important to isolate the causal effect of for-profit enrollment on student debt and repayment outcomes as well as the educational and labor market mechanisms that drive any such effects. We approach this problem using a novel instrument ...
Staff Reports , Paper 811

Discussion Paper
Understanding the Racial and Income Gap in COVID-19: Social Distancing, Pollution, and Demographics

This is the third post in a series looking to explain the gap in COVID-19 intensity by race and by income. In the first two posts, we have investigated whether comorbidities, uninsurance, hospital resources, and home and transit crowding help explain the income and minority gaps. Here, we continue our investigation by looking at three additional potential channels: the fraction of elderly people, pollution, and social distancing at the beginning of the pandemic in the county. We aim to understand whether these three factors affect overall COVID-19 intensity, whether the income and racial gaps ...
Liberty Street Economics , Paper 20210112c

Journal Article
Tough Choices: New Jersey Schools during the Great Recession and Beyond

This study examines the medium-term effects of the Great Recession on school finances in New Jersey using detailed school district panel data and an interrupted time series analysis. The authors find that the recession led to sharp cuts in school funding and expenditure, in spite of the federal stimulus. These cuts deepened as the stimulus abated. An analysis of variations by metropolitan area reveals that the Camden metro area, the highest poverty area reviewed, experienced considerably larger cuts in expenditures when the stimulus receded compared with other areas. The findings are ...
Economic Policy Review , Volume 27 , Issue 1 , Pages 1-34

Discussion Paper
Who is More Likely to Default on Student Loans?

This post seeks to understand how educational characteristics (school type and selectivity, graduation status, major) and family background relate to the incidence of student loan default. Student indebtedness has grown substantially, increasing by 170 percent between 2006 and 2016. In addition, the fraction of students who default on those loans has grown considerably. Of students who left college in 2010 and 2011, 28 percent defaulted on their student loans within five years, compared with 19 percent of those who left school in 2005 and 2006. Since defaulting on student loans can have ...
Liberty Street Economics , Paper 20171120

Discussion Paper
Banking the Unbanked: The Past and Future of the Free Checking Account

About one in twenty American households are unbanked (meaning they do not have a demand deposit or checking account) and many more are underbanked (meaning they do not have the range of bank-provided financial services they need). Unbanked and underbanked households are more likely to be lower-income households and households of color. Inadequate access to financial services pushes the unbanked to use high-cost alternatives for their transactional needs and can also hinder access to credit when households need it. That, in turn, can have adverse effects on the financial health, educational ...
Liberty Street Economics , Paper 20210630a

Journal Article
The Long Road to Recovery: New York Schools in the Aftermath of the Great Recession

Using rich panel data and an interrupted time-series analysis, the authors examine how the funding and expenditure dynamics of New York school districts changed in the four years after the Great Recession. Extending prior work on the immediate effects of the recession on school finances in 2009-10 in Chakrabarti, Livingston, and Setren (2015), they take a longer-term view through 2012, to document what happened when support from federal stimulus funding began to dwindle and then ended. The analysis finds that the more than $6 billion in support from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act ...
Economic Policy Review , Volume 25 , Issue Dec

Discussion Paper
The Role of Educational Attainment in Household Debt and Delinquency Disparities

This post concludes a three-part series exploring the gender, racial, and educational disparities of debt outcomes of college students. In the previous two posts, we examined how debt holding and delinquency behaviors vary among students of different race and gender, breaking up our analyses by level of degree pursued by the student. We found that Black and Hispanic students were less likely than white students to take on credit card debt, auto loans, and mortgage debt, but experienced higher rates of delinquency in each of these debt areas by the age of 30. In contrast, Black students were ...
Liberty Street Economics , Paper 20211117c

Report
Merit Aid, Student Mobility, and the Role of College Selectivity

In this paper, we investigate the role of college selectivity in college choice decisions (both in-state and out-of-state) of freshmen students following Georgia's HOPE scholarship program. How did HOPE affect the selectivity of colleges attended by Georgia's freshmen students? Did it induce Georgia's freshmen students who would have otherwise attended more selective out-of-state colleges to instead attend less selective in-state ones? Or was there movement to more selective ones, both in-state and out-of-state? Using student residency and enrollment data from IPEDS and selectivity data from ...
Staff Reports , Paper 641

Report
Housing markets and residential segregation: impacts of the Michigan school finance reform on inter- and intra-district sorting

Local financing of public schools in the United States leads to a bundling of two distinct choices ? residential choice and school choice ? and has been argued to increase the degree of socioeconomic segregation across school districts. A school finance reform, aimed at equalization of school finances, can in principle weaken this link between housing choice and choice of schools. In this paper, we study the impacts of the Michigan school finance reform of 1994 (Proposal A) on spatial segregation. The reform was a state initiative intended to equalize per-pupil expenditures between Michigan ...
Staff Reports , Paper 565

Discussion Paper
How Did Education Financing in New Jersey’s Abbott Districts Fare during the Great Recession?

In the state of New Jersey, any child between the ages of five and eighteen has the constitutional right to a thorough and efficient education. The state also has one of the country’s most rigid policies regarding a balanced budget. When state and local revenues took a big hit in the most recent recession, officials had to make tough decisions about education spending. In this post, we analyze education financing and spending in two groups of high-poverty districts during the Great Recession and the ARRA (American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009) federal stimulus period—the Abbott ...
Liberty Street Economics , Paper 20130206

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