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Incentives and Services for College Achievement: Evidence from a Randomized Trial

  • Philip Oreopoulos
  • Daniel Lang
  • Joshua Angrist

This paper reports on an experimental evaluation of strategies designed to improve academic performance among college freshmen. One treatment group was offered academic support services. Another was offered financial incentives for good grades. A third group combined both interventions. Service use was highest for women and for subjects in the combined group. The combined treatment also raised the grades and improved the academic standing of women. These differentials persisted through the end of second year, though incentives were given in the first year only. This suggests study skills among some treated women increased. In contrast, the program had no effect on men. (JEL I21, I28)

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File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/articles.php?doi=10.1257/app.1.1.136
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File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/aej-applied/data/2007-0062_data.zip
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Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal American Economic Journal: Applied Economics.

Volume (Year): 1 (2009)
Issue (Month): 1 (January)
Pages: 136-63

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Handle: RePEc:aea:aejapp:v:1:y:2009:i:1:p:136-63
Note: DOI: 10.1257/app.1.1.136
Contact details of provider: Web page: https://www.aeaweb.org/aej-applied
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  1. Joshua Angrist & Eric Bettinger & Erik Bloom & Elizabeth King & Michael Kremer, 2001. "Vouchers for Private Schooling in Colombia: Evidence from a Randomized Natural Experiment," NBER Working Papers 8343, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  3. Bas van der Klaauw & Edwin Leuven & Hessel Oosterbeek, 2006. "The effect of financial rewards on students' achievement: Evidence from a randomized experiment," Artefactual Field Experiments 00078, The Field Experiments Website.
  4. Kremer, Michael Robert & Miguel, Edward A. & Thorton, Rebecca L, 2004. "Incentives to Learn," Center for International and Development Economics Research, Working Paper Series qt9kc4p47q, Center for International and Development Economics Research, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
  5. Jeff Dominitz & Charles F. Manski, 1994. "Using Expectations Data to Study Subjective Income Expectations," Econometrics 9411003, EconWPA.
  6. Ted O'Donoghue and Matthew Rabin ., 1997. "Doing It Now or Later," Economics Working Papers 97-253, University of California at Berkeley.
  7. Laibson, David, 1997. "Golden Eggs and Hyperbolic Discounting," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 112(2), pages 443-77, May.
  8. Victor Lavy & Analia Schlosser, 2004. "Targeted Remedial Education for Under-Performing Teenagers: Costs and Benefits," NBER Working Papers 10575, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Joshua Angrist, 1988. "Grouped Data Estimation and Testing in Simple Labor Supply Models," Working Papers 614, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
  10. Oreopoulos, Philip, 2007. "Do dropouts drop out too soon? Wealth, health and happiness from compulsory schooling," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 91(11-12), pages 2213-2229, December.
  11. Goldin, Claudia & Kuziemko, Ilyana & Katz, Lawrence, 2006. "The Homecoming of American College Women: The Reversal of the College Gender Gap," Scholarly Articles 2962611, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  12. Kane, Thomas J & Rouse, Cecilia Elena, 1995. "Labor-Market Returns to Two- and Four-Year College," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(3), pages 600-614, June.
  13. Susan Dynarski, 2002. "The Consequences of Merit Aid," NBER Working Papers 9400, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Joshua D. Angrist & Victor Lavy, 2002. "The Effect of High School Matriculation Awards: Evidence from Randomized Trials," NBER Working Papers 9389, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Drew Fudenberg & David K. Levine, 2006. "A Dual Self Model of Impulse Control," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 2112, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  16. Christopher Cornwell & David B. Mustard & Deepa J. Sridhar, 2006. "The Enrollment Effects of Merit-Based Financial Aid: Evidence from Georgia's HOPE Program," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 24(4), pages 761-786, October.
  17. Zeman, Klarka & Frenette, Marc, 2007. "Why Are Most University Students Women? Evidence Based on Academic Performance, Study Habits and Parental Influences," Analytical Studies Branch Research Paper Series 2007303e, Statistics Canada, Analytical Studies Branch.
  18. Eric P. Bettinger & Bridget Terry Long, 2009. "Addressing the Needs of Underprepared Students in Higher Education: Does College Remediation Work?," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 44(3).
  19. Frölich, Markus & Melly, Blaise, 2008. "Unconditional Quantile Treatment Effects under Endogeneity," IZA Discussion Papers 3288, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  20. Angrist, Joshua & Lang, Daniel W. & Oreopoulos, Philip, 2007. "Incentives and Services for College Achievement: Evidence from a Randomized Trial," IZA Discussion Papers 3134, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  21. C. Kirabo Jackson, 2010. "A Little Now for a Lot Later: A Look at a Texas Advanced Placement Incentive Program," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 45(3).
  22. Pietro Garibaldi & Francesco Giavazzi & Andrea Ichino & Enrico Rettore, 2012. "College Cost and Time to Complete a Degree: Evidence from Tuition Discontinuities," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 94(3), pages 699-711, August.
  23. Joshua D. Angrist & Guido W. Imbens, 1995. "Identification and Estimation of Local Average Treatment Effects," NBER Technical Working Papers 0118, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  24. Susan Clampet-Lundquist & J. Greg Duncan & Kathryn Edin & Jeffrey R. Kling, 2006. "Moving At-Risk Teenagers Out of High-Risk Neighborhoods: Why Girls Fare Better Than Boys," Working Papers 888, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
  25. Sergio Firpo, 2007. "Efficient Semiparametric Estimation of Quantile Treatment Effects," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 75(1), pages 259-276, 01.
  26. Shane Frederick & George Loewenstein & Ted O'Donoghue, 2002. "Time Discounting and Time Preference: A Critical Review," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 40(2), pages 351-401, June.
  27. Michael Anderson, 2005. "Uncovering Gender Differences in the Effects of Early Intervention: A Reevaluation of the Abecedarian, Perry Preschool, and Early Training Projects," HEW 0509008, EconWPA, revised 26 Sep 2005.
  28. Edward Miguel & Michael Kremer & Rebecca Thornton, 2004. "Incentives to learn," Natural Field Experiments 00289, The Field Experiments Website.
  29. Joshua Angrist & Daniel Lang & Philip Oreopoulos, 2006. "Lead Them to Water and Pay Them to Drink: An Experiment with Services and Incentives for College Achievement," NBER Working Papers 12790, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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