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

  • Botelho, Anabela
  • Pinto, Ligia Costa

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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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Economics of Education Review.

Volume (Year): 23 (2004)
Issue (Month): 6 (December)
Pages: 645-653

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Handle: RePEc:eee:ecoedu:v:23:y:2004:i:6:p:645-653
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/econedurev

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  20. Cécile Wetzels & Aslan Zorlu, 2003. "Wage effects of motherhood: a double selection approach," NIMA Working Papers 22, Núcleo de Investigação em Microeconomia Aplicada (NIMA), Universidade do Minho.
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  23. Paula Veiga, 2005. "Income-related health inequality in Portugal," NIMA Working Papers 28, Núcleo de Investigação em Microeconomia Aplicada (NIMA), Universidade do Minho.
  24. Miguel Portela, 2001. "The impact of segregation on wage inequality: a look at recruitment and pay policies at the firm level," NIMA Working Papers 8, Núcleo de Investigação em Microeconomia Aplicada (NIMA), Universidade do Minho.
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  29. Anabela Botelho & Ligia Costa Pinto, 2000. "Has Portugal gone wireless? Looking back, Looking ahead," NIMA Working Papers 5, Núcleo de Investigação em Microeconomia Aplicada (NIMA), Universidade do Minho.
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  32. Anabela Botelho & Glenn W. Harrison & Lígia Costa Pinto & Elisabet E. Rutstrom & Paula Veiga, 2005. "Discounting in developing countries: a pilot experiment in Timor-Leste," NIMA Working Papers 31, Núcleo de Investigação em Microeconomia Aplicada (NIMA), Universidade do Minho.
  33. Paula Veiga & Ronald P. Wilder, 2006. "Maternal smoking during pregnancy and birthweight - A propensity score matching approach," NIMA Working Papers 32, Núcleo de Investigação em Microeconomia Aplicada (NIMA), Universidade do Minho.
  34. Anabela Botelho & Glenn W. Harrison & Lígia Costa Pinto & Elisabet E. Rutstrom, 2005. "Social norms and social choice," NIMA Working Papers 30, Núcleo de Investigação em Microeconomia Aplicada (NIMA), Universidade do Minho.
  35. Anabela Botelho & Ligia Costa Pinto & Miguel Portela & Antonio Silva, 2001. "The determinants of success in university entrance," NIMA Working Papers 13, Núcleo de Investigação em Microeconomia Aplicada (NIMA), Universidade do Minho.
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