fbpx Stone Inequality & Social Policy Seminar | Harvard Kennedy School
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Date and Location

March 27, 2023
12:00 PM - 1:15 PM EST
Allison Dining Room, Taubman 5th Floor, Hks

​​The Stone Program in Wealth Distribution, Inequality, and Social Policy welcomes Professor Juliana Londoño-Vélez to speak in the Stone Inequality & Social Policy Seminar Series.

Juliana Londoño-Vélez is an Assistant Professor of Economics at the University of California, Los
Angeles, and a Faculty Research Fellow at the National Bureau of
Economic Research. Her work primarily focuses on inequality and
redistributive tax and transfer policies, with a special interest in
developing countries. She received her Ph.D. in Economics from the
University of California, Berkeley in 2019.

"Fincancial Aid and Social Mobility: Evidence from Colombia's Ser Pilo Paga"

Abstract: We study the effects of financial aid on human capital and social
mobility. In 2014, Colombia implemented a nationwide financial aid
program covering the tuition of four-year undergraduate programs at 33
"high-quality" universities. We estimate effects on educational and
labor market outcomes realized seven years after high school completion.
We leverage the program's discontinuous assignment rules based on test
scores and household wealth using a regression discontinuity design and
identify effects away from these discontinuities using
difference-in-differences. There are four key results. First, financial
aid has a long-lasting expansion of college access and quality, exposing
students to colleges with high learning and earnings premia. Second,
financial aid boosts social mobility by expanding college attainment
and earnings, partly by raising students’ productivity. Third, financial
aid slashes the wealth gaps in attainment, learning, and earnings among
equally-achieving students. Fourth, these sizable benefits are not
offset by corresponding losses for nonrecipients. As a result,
financial aid improves both equity and efficiency. Thanks to financial
aid, colleges act as "engines of social mobility" rather than as
"bastions of privilege." (co-authored with Catherine Rodríguez, Fabio Sánchez, and Luis Esteban Álvarez)​

Speakers and Presenters

​Juliana Londoño-Vélez (Assistant Professor of Economics, UCLA)