NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Cash-on-Hand & College Enrollment: Evidence from Population Tax Data and Policy Nonlinearities

Dayanand S. Manoli, Nicholas Turner

NBER Working Paper No. 19836
Issued in January 2014, Revised in April 2016
NBER Program(s):CH, ED, LS, PE

We estimate causal effects of cash-on-hand on college enrollment decisions of students from low-income families. Using population-level, administrative data from United States income tax returns, we exploit variation in tax refunds received in the spring of the high school senior year. The variation in tax refunds results from the kink point between the phase-in and maximum credit portions of the Earned Income Tax Credit schedule. The results suggest tax refunds received in the spring of the high school senior year have meaningful effects on college enrollment.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w19836

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