The government is being urged to make a U-turn over its decision to scrap Education Maintenance Allowance (EMA) payments.
In an open letter published in the Guardian, a number of leading economists stated that the "last thing" Britain needs at a time when youth unemployment is rising is to withdraw support for young people.
"More importantly, extensive quantitative evaluations of the EMA have shown that it has significantly improved both staying-on rates and qualifications for students from poorer backgrounds. Econometric evidence from researchers at the Institute for Fiscal Studies, published in 2005, found that the EMA significantly increased participation rates in post-16 education among young adults, and concluded that its impact was 'substantial'," they stated.
They argued that abolishing EMA is not a recipe for long-term growth and said that chancellor George Osborne should at least provide EMA payments for the 300,000 young people who are enrolled on two-year courses and expected to receive money during the second year.
The letter was signed by ten individuals, including Jonathan Portes, former chief economist at the cabinet office and director of the National Institute of Economic and Social Research.
Published by Jane Moore