Three Essays in the Economics of Education: Evidence from Canadian Policies
This dissertation evaluates the effects of various public policies related to education in Canada. The results indicate that the actions of parents are generally consistent with the procrastination saving model. I estimate that higher matching rates on contributions and lump-sum subsidies increased RESP contributions and savings among lower-income families who applied for the programs. Furthermore, grants conditional on opening an account generally caused all parents to start saving earlier for their child. Chapter 4 evaluates the impacts of education savings in incentivised education savings accounts on children’s overall education savings and their academic performance. To identify these effects, I employ an instrumental variable approach that relies on the structure of Canadian saving incentives offered to parents for contributions to RESPs. I find no effect of the saving incentives on parents’ overall decision to save for their child’s post-secondary education. Among parents who do save, I estimate a small but significant crowding-out effect of RESP savings on education savings in other types of saving vehicles.