Working Paper No. 09-09

The Effects of Higher Education Policy on the Location Decision of Individuals: Evidence from Florida's Bright Futures Scholarship Program
Daniel C. Hickman
November 2009

ABSTRACT

Over the past two decades, numerous states have adopted merit-based aid programs to subsidize higher education for in-state students. One of the main objectives of these programs is to increase the stock of educated labor in the state by retaining those whose education is subsidized. This study provides evidence on the extent to which such a program in Florida has affected the location decision of college-educated Florida natives. The analysis utilizes a difference-indifference approach and data from the Census and American Community Survey (ACS). The results indicate those eligible for the program are significantly more likely to locate in Florida after completing their education than those who were not eligible. These results are robust to a number of alternative specifications, including a comparison with neighboring states.

JEL classification: I2; J61; R23
Keywords: Higher Education; Geographic Mobility; Subsidization

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