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Investing in schooling in Chile: The role of information about financial aid for higher education

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  • Dinkelman, Taryn
  • Martínez A, Claudia

Abstract

Recent research demonstrates that imperfect information about returns to education distorts schooling investments. Questions remain about what information is missing in different settings and for whom such information is most critical. We conducted a field experiment to investigate whether Grade 8 children increase effort after learning about financial aid for post-secondary schooling; whether responses are larger for high or low ability students; or when parents as well as children learn about financial aid. We randomly assigned over 6,000 Chilean 8th graders in poor urban schools to information treatment or control groups, with half of the treatment group watching an information DVD at school (Student group) and the other half receiving this DVD to watch at home (Family group). Combining survey with administrative data, we find substantial improvements in financial aid knowledge in treated schools and a 14% reduction in absenteeism, but no effects on 8th Grade scores or 9th Grade enrolment. Students with higher baseline grades appear to drive most of the significant responses. Surprisingly, although Family group parents report significantly better knowledge of DVD content, using both experimental variation and non-experimental methods we show that watching at home has no larger impact on child effort than watching at school, at least for students likely to choose to watch the DVD. These results suggest that while educational inputs can improve after learning more about the higher education production function, particularly for higher ability students, such information is insufficient for improving educational outcomes, even when parents are involved.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 8375.

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Date of creation: May 2011
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:8375

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Keywords: Chile; effort in school; financial aid; higher education;

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Cited by:
  1. Philip Oreopoulos & Ryan Dunn, 2013. "Information and College Access: Evidence from a Randomized Field Experiment," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 115(1), pages 3-26, 01.
  2. Luis Beccaria & Pablo Alfredo Gluzmann, 2013. "Medición de los Ingresos y la Pobreza Oficial en América Latina y el Caribe," CEDLAS, Working Papers 0148, CEDLAS, Universidad Nacional de La Plata.
  3. Sebastian Galiani & Ricardo Perez-Truglia, 2013. "School Management in Developing Countries," CEDLAS, Working Papers 0147, CEDLAS, Universidad Nacional de La Plata.
  4. Borghans, Lex & Golsteyn, Bart H.H. & Stenberg, Anders, 2013. "Does Expert Advice Improve Educational Choice?," IZA Discussion Papers 7649, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  5. Matthew Wiswall & Basit Zafar, 2011. "Belief updating among college students: evidence from experimental variation in information," Staff Reports 516, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
  6. Bleemer, Zachary & Zafar, Basit, 2014. "Information heterogeneity and intended college enrollment," Staff Reports 685, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
  7. Sarena F. Goodman, 2013. "Learning from the test: raising selective college enrollment by providing information," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2013-69, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).

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