Il ruolo degli incentivi economici nell'istruzione universitaria
The Impact of Financial Aids in Higher Education
The aim of this thesis is to investigate whether the Italian University grants are an effective tool to prevent student drop out and to favor the degree attainment whitin accademic path, both for merit and need-based financial aids. The survey units are italian student enrolled on a degree course in Chemistry, Physics and Mathematics from 2002/02 until 2007/08 in the University of Trieste. On the one hand, the Erdisu (Local Governmental Agency) offers some grants every year to eligible students from low-income families (scarcely related to the merit). The main objective of this intervention is to give equal opportunity to achieve higher education to motivated students irrespective of their income. On the other hand, Fonda Foundation offers some (only) merit-based grants to students enrolled in Chemistry, Physics and Mathematics degree courses. The goal is to award the best students enrolled in the above courses. In order to estimate the causal effect of receiving a grant, we follow the literature on counterfactual analysis and we matching treated and control units using Genetic matching and Coarsened Exact Matching. The results suggest that the need-based financial aids have positive impact to prevent drop-out at 2nd year, but non significant effect on graduation time, whereas the merit-based scholarships increase the probability to achieve the degree on time.