Author: Kiatanantha Lounkaew, Australian National University, Australia
Published: September 2014
Citation: Lounkaew, K. (2014). How Much Do Student Loan Sizes Affect Returns on Tertiary Education for Thai Persons with Disabilities? IAFOR Journal of Politics, Economics & Law, 1(1). https://doi.org/10.22492/ijpel.1.1.04
This paper is motivated by the fact that there were about 1.5 million disabled persons in Thailand in 2011. A year later, 234,390 of them had died; many of the deaths were premature. The major causes of their deaths could be traced back to deprived socioeconomic conditions. At present, registered disabled persons are entitled to a monthly payment of 500 Baht (17 USD), and have access to low cost medical services. It is inevitable that a new initiative is needed to promote better quality of life. Access to tertiary education is one of the viable options. Disabled persons are usually credit constrained; access to sufficient student loans is, therefore, a pre-requisite to access tertiary education. Using a unique health literacy data set of Thai persons with disabilities, this paper examines how different student loan sizes affect returns on tertiary education. Propensity Score Matching is used to estimate the differences in the log of earnings between disabled persons with tertiary degrees, and disabled persons with basic education qualifications. A subsequent exercise on the effects of different loan sizes is conducted using the Thai Student Loans Fund (SLF) arrangement. The exercise reveals that rates of returns do not vary significantly with loan sizes. These findings suggest that promoting greater access to tertiary education for disabled persons will be beneficial to individuals, as well as the society at large. Supplementary in-depth interviews highlight the importance of post-graduation placement services.
disabled rights, education policy, student loans