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Students' expectations of the economic returns to college education Results of a controlled experiment

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Abstract

This study reports the results of an experiment designed to elicit students' subjective beliefs about the economic returns to college education. An important feature of our experimental design is the inclusion of financial incentives for accurate reporting. We also consider the extent to which individuals' beliefs about their own returns differ from their beliefs about the returns for others. The evidence shows that students do have a self-enhancement tendency, and this finding cannot be attributed to previously uncontrolled order effects. The evidence also indicates that there is no significant difference between beliefs elicited using hypothetical surveys or real financial incentives in the elicitation procedure. This finding suggests that economists' reluctance to gather subjective data on earnings expectations may not be warrant.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Núcleo de Investigação em Microeconomia Aplicada (NIMA), Universidade do Minho in its series NIMA Working Papers with number 27.

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Length: 22 pages
Date of creation: Dec 2003
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:nim:nimawp:27

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Postal: NIMA, EEG - Universidade do Minho, 4710-057 Braga, Portugal
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Web page: http://nima.eeg.uminho.pt/

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Postal: NIMA, EEG - Universidade do Minho, 4710-057 Braga, Portugal
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Keywords: rate of return; human capital;

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References

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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Gunderson, Morley & Krashinsky, Harry, 2009. "Do Education Decisions Respond to Returns by Field of Study?," CLSSRN working papers clsrn_admin-2009-62, Vancouver School of Economics, revised 28 Nov 2009.
  2. Uschi Backes-Gellner & Stephan Veen, 2006. "Incentives for Schools, Educational Signals and Labour Market Outcomes," Economics of Education Working Paper Series 0009, University of Zurich, Institute for Strategy and Business Economics (ISU), revised Jun 2006.
  3. 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.

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