IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/eee/soceco/v83y2019ics2214804318304245.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Information policies and higher education choices experimental evidence from Colombia

Author

Listed:
  • Bonilla-Mejía, Leonardo
  • Bottan, Nicolas L.
  • Ham, Andrés

Abstract

This paper studies the effects of a large-scale information policy that nudges high school students towards college information websites in Colombia. We collect panel data on 6000 students in 115 public schools and match them to administrative records. Students in 58 randomly-chosen schools received a 35-minute presentation on the earning premiums of college, funding opportunities to cover costs, and the importance of test scores for admissions and financial aid. Our findings indicate that students learn about financial aid but do not update their inflated beliefs about college earnings, are not motivated to improve academic performance, nor substantially modify their enrollment choices. These results are precisely estimated, robust, and consistent with the related literature. We conduct an in-depth analysis of the reasons driving the limited effects of information provision on higher education choices, identifying factors that may increase the effectiveness of these policies to motivate the demand for college.

Suggested Citation

  • Bonilla-Mejía, Leonardo & Bottan, Nicolas L. & Ham, Andrés, 2019. "Information policies and higher education choices experimental evidence from Colombia," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 83(C).
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:soceco:v:83:y:2019:i:c:s2214804318304245
    DOI: 10.1016/j.socec.2019.101468
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2214804318304245
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version below or search for a different version of it.

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Belzil, Christian & Hansen, Jörgen, 2002. "Earnings Dispersion, Risk Aversion and Education," CEPR Discussion Papers 3600, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    2. Alesina, Alberto & La Ferrara, Eliana, 2005. "Preferences for redistribution in the land of opportunities," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(5-6), pages 897-931, June.
    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, January.
    4. Carolina González-Velosa & Graciana Rucci & Miguel Sarzosa & Sergio Urzúa, 2015. "Returns to Higher Education in Chile and Colombia," IDB Publications (Working Papers) 88676, Inter-American Development Bank.
    5. Belzil, Christian & Leonardi, Marco, 2007. "Can risk aversion explain schooling attainments? Evidence from Italy," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 14(6), pages 957-970, December.
    6. Luis Fernando Gamboa & Paul Andrés Rodríguez-Lesmes, 2018. "Subjective Earnings and Academic Expectations of Tertiary Education in Colombia," Revista ESPE - Ensayos sobre Política Económica, Banco de la Republica de Colombia, vol. 36(86), pages 159-177, June.
    7. Fryer, Roland G., 2016. "Information, non-financial incentives, and student achievement: Evidence from a text messaging experiment," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 144(C), pages 109-121.
    8. Busso, Matias & Dinkelman, Taryn & Claudia Martínez, A. & Romero, Dario, 2017. "The effects of financial aid and returns information in selective and less selective schools: Experimental evidence from Chile," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 45(C), pages 79-91.
    9. Robert Jensen & Emily Oster, 2009. "The Power of TV: Cable Television and Women's Status in India," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 124(3), pages 1057-1094.
    10. Karen Macours & Renos Vakis, 2014. "Changing Households' Investment Behaviour through Social Interactions with Local Leaders: Evidence from a Randomised Transfer Programme," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 0(576), pages 607-633, May.
    11. Justine Hastings & Christopher A. Neilson & Seth D. Zimmerman, 2015. "The Effects of Earnings Disclosure on College Enrollment Decisions," NBER Working Papers 21300, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    12. Philip Oreopoulos & Robert S. Brown & Adam M. Lavecchia, 2017. "Pathways to Education: An Integrated Approach to Helping At-Risk High School Students," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 125(4), pages 947-984.
    13. Taryn Dinkelman & Claudia Martínez A., 2014. "Investing in Schooling In Chile: The Role of Information about Financial Aid for Higher Education," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 96(2), pages 244-257, May.
    14. David Eil & Justin M. Rao, 2011. "The Good News-Bad News Effect: Asymmetric Processing of Objective Information about Yourself," American Economic Journal: Microeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 3(2), pages 114-138, May.
    15. Kerr, Sari Pekkala & Pekkarinen, Tuomas & Sarvimäki, Matti & Uusitalo, Roope, 2020. "Post-secondary education and information on labor market prospects: A randomized field experiment," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 66(C).
    16. Booij, Adam S. & Leuven, Edwin & Oosterbeek, Hessel, 2012. "The role of information in the take-up of student loans," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 31(1), pages 33-44.
    17. Philip Oreopoulos & Reuben Ford, 2019. "Keeping College Options Open: A Field Experiment to Help all High School Seniors Through the College Application Process," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 38(2), pages 426-454, March.
    18. Benjamin L. Castleman & Lindsay C. Page, 2016. "Freshman Year Financial Aid Nudges: An Experiment to Increase FAFSA Renewal and College Persistence," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 51(2), pages 389-415.
    19. Eliana La Ferrara & Alberto Chong & Suzanne Duryea, 2012. "Soap Operas and Fertility: Evidence from Brazil," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 4(4), pages 1-31, October.
    20. Damgaard, Mette Trier & Nielsen, Helena Skyt, 2018. "Nudging in education," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 64(C), pages 313-342.
    21. Hastings, Justine S. & Neilson, Christopher A. & Ramirez, Anely & Zimmerman, Seth D., 2016. "(Un)informed college and major choice: Evidence from linked survey and administrative data," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 51(C), pages 136-151.
    22. Ruder, Alexander I. & Van Noy, Michelle, 2017. "Knowledge of earnings risk and major choice: Evidence from an information experiment," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 57(C), pages 80-90.
    23. Castleman, Benjamin L. & Page, Lindsay C., 2015. "Summer nudging: Can personalized text messages and peer mentor outreach increase college going among low-income high school graduates?," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 115(C), pages 144-160.
    24. Busso, Matias & Dinkelman, Taryn & Claudia Martínez, A. & Romero, Dario, 2017. "The effects of financial aid and returns information in selective and less selective schools: Experimental evidence from Chile," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 45(C), pages 79-91.
    25. Matthew Wiswall & Basit Zafar, 2015. "Determinants of College Major Choice: Identification using an Information Experiment," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 82(2), pages 791-824.
    26. Avitabile, Ciro & de Hoyos, Rafael, 2018. "The heterogeneous effect of information on student performance: Evidence from a randomized control trial in Mexico," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 135(C), pages 318-348.
    27. González-Velosa, Carolina & Rucci, Graciana & Sarzosa, Miguel & Urzúa, Sergio, 2015. "Returns to Higher Education in Chile and Colombia," IDB Publications (Working Papers) 6858, Inter-American Development Bank.
    28. Kraft, Matthew A. & Rogers, Todd, 2015. "The underutilized potential of teacher-to-parent communication: Evidence from a field experiment," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 47(C), pages 49-63.
    29. Loyalka, Prashant & Song, Yingquan & Wei, Jianguo & Zhong, Weiping & Rozelle, Scott, 2013. "Information, college decisions and financial aid: Evidence from a cluster-randomized controlled trial in China," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 36(C), pages 26-40.
    30. Bernard, Tanguy & Dercon, Stefan & Orkin, Kate & Taffesse, Alemayehu, 2014. "The Future in Mind: Aspirations and Forward-Looking Behaviour in Rural Ethiopia," CEPR Discussion Papers 10224, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    31. Eric Bettinger & Rachel Baker, 2011. "The Effects of Student Coaching in College: An Evaluation of a Randomized Experiment in Student Mentoring," NBER Working Papers 16881, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    32. Chiapa, Carlos & Garrido, José Luis & Prina, Silvia, 2012. "The effect of social programs and exposure to professionals on the educational aspirations of the poor," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 31(5), pages 778-798.
    33. Martin McGuigan & Sandra McNally & Gill Wyness, 2016. "Student Awareness of Costs and Benefits of Educational Decisions: Effects of an Information Campaign," Journal of Human Capital, University of Chicago Press, vol. 10(4), pages 482-519.
    34. McKenzie, David, 2012. "Beyond baseline and follow-up: The case for more T in experiments," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 99(2), pages 210-221.
    35. Koch, Alexander & Nafziger, Julia & Nielsen, Helena Skyt, 2015. "Behavioral economics of education," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 115(C), pages 3-17.
    36. Melguizo, Tatiana & Sanchez, Fabio & Velasco, Tatiana, 2016. "Credit for Low-Income Students and Access to and Academic Performance in Higher Education in Colombia: A Regression Discontinuity Approach," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 80(C), pages 61-77.
    37. Maria Marta Ferreyra & Ciro Avitabile & Javier Botero Álvarez & Francisco Haimovich Paz & Sergio Urzúa, 2017. "At a Crossroads," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 26489, June.
    38. Karen Macours & Renos Vakis, 2014. "Changing Households' Investment Behaviour through Social Interactions with Local Leaders: Evidence from a Randomised Transfer Programme," Post-Print halshs-01313720, HAL.
    39. Robert Jensen, 2010. "The (Perceived) Returns to Education and the Demand for Schooling," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 125(2), pages 515-548.
    40. Jenny C. Aker & Rachid Boumnijel & Amanda McClelland & Niall Tierney, 2016. "Payment Mechanisms and Antipoverty Programs: Evidence from a Mobile Money Cash Transfer Experiment in Niger," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 65(1), pages 1-37.
    41. Eric P. Bettinger & Bridget Terry Long & Philip Oreopoulos & Lisa Sanbonmatsu, 2012. "The Role of Application Assistance and Information in College Decisions: Results from the H&R Block Fafsa Experiment," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 127(3), pages 1205-1242.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. de Gendre, Alexandra & Salamanca, Nicolás, 2020. "On the Mechanisms of Ability Peer Effects," IZA Discussion Papers 13938, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    2. Ricardo Nogales & Pamela Córdova & Manuel Urquidi, 2020. "The impact of university reputation on employment opportunities: Experimental evidence from Bolivia," The Economic and Labour Relations Review, , vol. 31(4), pages 524-542, December.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Nudges; Information policies; Knowledge; Expectations; Higher education choices;

    JEL classification:

    • D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness
    • I24 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Education and Inequality
    • I25 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Education and Economic Development
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:soceco:v:83:y:2019:i:c:s2214804318304245. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Haili He). General contact details of provider: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/620175 .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.