May 19, 2019

How student debt causes lower incomes

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

A new paper looking at student loans suggests that debt does come with more than just interest costs.

What they did: Three researchers, all of them business school professors, managed to persuade Equifax to give them detailed financial data on thousands of borrowers who had student loans from National Collegiate. When the company couldn't prove that it had chain of title, the borrowers' debts were discharged.

By the numbers: Does a significant student debt burden force you to earn more money, just so that you can repay your loans? Or does it just keep you stuck in a suboptimal job, when you might be able to earn more elsewhere?

  • The answer seems to be the latter.

The researchers report: "After the discharge, the borrowers' geographical mobility increases ... ultimately their income increases by more than $4,000 over a three year period, which is equivalent to about two months' average salary."

Go deeper

Kenan Thompson and Hasan Minhaj to headline White House Correspondents' Dinner

Kenan Thompson on "SNL" in 2018. Photo: Rosalind O'Connor/NBC via Getty Images

Kenan Thompson, the longest-tenured "Saturday Night Live" cast member, will host the White House Correspondents' Association dinner on April 25.

And Hasan Minhaj — host of Netflix’s "Patriot Act with Hasan Minhaj," and the entertainer at the 2017 dinner — will return as featured entertainer.

"Billions": Season 2020

Mike Bloomberg speaks at Hardywood Park Craft Brewery in Richmond, Va., on Saturday. Photo: James H. Wallace/Richmond Times-Dispatch via AP

Money alone can’t buy a presidential election, but it surely gets you VIP access.

Why it matters: Billionaire Michael Bloomberg is duking it out with Billionaire Donald Trump, often on Billionaire Jack Dorsey’s Twitter and in ads on Billionaire Mark Zuckerberg’s Facebook, all chronicled in Billionaire Jeff Bezos’ Washington Post. 

Biometrics invade banking and retail

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Banks have been quietly rolling out biometrics to identify customers — verifying them by their fingerprint, voice or eye scan — and retailers like Amazon are getting into the game.

Why it matters: These companies are amassing giant databases of our most personal information — including our gait, how we hold our cellphones, our typing patterns — that raise knotty questions about data security and privacy.