Replacing student grants with loans. Evidence from a Swedish policy reform.

Published: 20 April 2022

Author: Gunnar Brandén, And

The Recruitment grant was a student aid policy that replaced the loans in the student aid system with grants for unemployed adults with low education. In this paper, I estimate the causal effects of repealing this policy on the educational attainment and subsequent labor market outcomes for the target population in a difference-in-differences framework. I find that the repeal reduced enrollment in adult education by 10 percent relative to the pre-repeal enrollment rate, and that the number of passed credits decreased by 29 percent. I also find that repeal increased unemployment by an average of 76 days over the eight-year follow-up, and decreased earnings by about 12,000 SEK ($1,300). Although there are substantial differences in these outcomes across subgroups, the repeal had significant adverse effects for the target population as a whole.

Keywords: Student aid, Adult education, Difference-in-differences, Propensity scores.
JEL-codes: D31, I24, J62, R0.


Working paper 2022:7 is written by Gunnar Brandén (former IFAU and Department of economics, Uppsala university). For further information, please contact Gunnar Brandén at