Research shows place-based scholarship programs reduce out-migration

A new paper by Institute staff shows that place-based scholarship programs, such as the Kalamazoo Promise, promote local economic development as well as improve student outcomes. In a recently released study, Timothy J. Bartik and Nathan Sotherland examined eight Promise-type scholarship programs and found that out-migration of residents was lower in local labor markets where those programs are offered. They estimate that for at least three years after the programs were announced out-migration in these local labor markets was reduced by about 1.7 percent, which in turn should boost employment by a similar percentage. The results are larger for households with school-age children.  The study compares each of the eight commuting areas with promise programs to 15 commuting areas that have similar characteristics but do not have a promise program. According to the researchers, these estimated effects are consistent with the expectation that families will think twice about leaving a community when college scholarships are provided to local residents.

This research was supported in part by Lumina Foundation. For more on the Promise Research Consortium click here.

Read “Migration and Housing Price Effects of Place-Based College Scholarships” by Timothy J. Bartik and Nathan Sotherland

Read Timothy J. Bartik’s blog post on the paper.


Timothy J. Bartik headshot

Timothy J. Bartik

Senior Economist

Research Topics: Promise Programs