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Information and College Access: Evidence from a Randomized Field Experiment

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  • Philip Oreopoulos
  • Ryan Dunn

Abstract

High school students from disadvantaged high schools in Toronto were invited to take two surveys, about three weeks apart. Half of the students taking the first survey were also shown a 3 minute video about the benefits of post secondary education (PSE) and invited to try out a financial-aid calculator. Most students' perceived returns to PSE were high, even among those not expecting to continue. Those exposed to the video, especially those initially unsure about their own educational attainment, reported significantly higher expected returns, lower concerns about costs, and expressed greater likelihood of PSE attainment.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 18551.

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Date of creation: Nov 2012
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Publication status: published as 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.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:18551

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References

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  1. John List & David Reiley, 2008. "Field experiments," Artefactual Field Experiments 00091, The Field Experiments Website.
  2. Jeff Dominitz & Charles F. Manski, 1994. "Eliciting Student Expectations of the Returns to Schooling," NBER Working Papers 4936, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Janet Currie, 2004. "The Take Up of Social Benefits," NBER Working Papers 10488, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Dynarski, Susan M. & Scott–Clayton, Judith E., 2006. "The Cost of Complexity in Federal Student Aid: Lessons from Optimal Tax Theory and Behavioral Economics," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 59(2), pages 319-56, June.
  5. Robert Jensen, 2010. "The (Perceived) Returns to Education and the Demand for Schooling," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 125(2), pages 515-548, May.
  6. Taryn Dinkelman & Claudia Martínez, 2011. "Investing in schooling in Chile: The role of information about financial aid for higher education," Working Papers wp335, University of Chile, Department of Economics.
  7. Susan M. Dynarski & Judith E. Scott-Clayton, 2006. "The Cost of Complexity in Federal Student Aid: Lessons from Optimal Tax Theory and Behavioral Economics," NBER Working Papers 12227, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Stefano DellaVigna & Matthew Gentzkow, 2009. "Persuasion: Empirical Evidence," NBER Working Papers 15298, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Botelho, Anabela & Pinto, Ligia Costa, 2004. "Students' expectations of the economic returns to college education: results of a controlled experiment," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 23(6), pages 645-653, December.
  10. Julian R. Betts, 1996. "What Do Students Know about Wages? Evidence from a Survey of Undergraduates," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 31(1), pages 27-56.
  11. Taryn Dinkelman & Claudia Martínez A., 2011. "Investing in Schooling in Chile: The Role of Information about Financial Aid for Higher Education," Working Papers 1296, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Center for Economic Policy Studies..
  12. Brian A. Jacob & Tamara Wilder, 2010. "Educational Expectations and Attainment," NBER Working Papers 15683, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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Cited by:
  1. Saniter, Nils & Siedler, Thomas, 2014. "The Effects of Occupational Knowledge: Job Information Centers, Educational Choices, and Labor Market Outcomes," IZA Discussion Papers 8100, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. Christine Neill, 2013. "What You Don't Know Can't Help You: Lessons of Behavioural Economics for Tax-Based Student Aid," C.D. Howe Institute Commentary, C.D. Howe Institute, issue 393, November.

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