Impact Evaluation of A Grant Program for Postgraduate Studies Undertaken Abroad: Analysis of the Ecuadorian Case

Juan Ponce, Nilo M. Cedeño


The National Secretary for Higher Education, Science, Technology and Innovation in Ecuador (locally SENESCYT) started an ambitious grants program in 2011. The main objective of the program was to send Ecuadorian students to undertake postgraduate studies at universities overseas. This article evaluates the impact of this grant policy on the labor income of the beneficiaries after they have completed their studies abroad and returned to Ecuador. Using a fixed-effects with lagged dependent variable model combined with a propensity score matching, we find a negative impact on the income of the grant holders during the first year following their return to the country. For the second year, the effect is non-significant. During the third year, the impact becomes significant and positive. The grant holders who returned having completed their postgraduate program abroad had a 9% higher employment income in the third year than those who did their postgraduate studies in Ecuador. The program's effect concentrates on women, the low-income group, and on those beneficiaries that studied in the USA.

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International Journal of Higher Education
ISSN 1927-6044 (Print) ISSN 1927-6052 (Online) Email:

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