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Knowing who you are: The Effect of Feedback Information on Short and Long Term Outcomes

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  • Goulas, Sofoklis
  • Megalokonomou, Rigissa

Abstract

We study the effect of disclosing relative performance information (feedback) on students’ performance in high-school and on subsequent university enrolment. We exploit a large scale natural experiment where students in some cohorts are provided with their national and school relative performance. Using unique primary collected data, we find an asymmetric response to the relative performance information: high achieving students improve their last-year performance by 0.15 standard deviations whereas the last-year performance of low achieving students drops by 0.3 standard deviations. The results are more pronounced for females indicating greater sensitivity to feedback. We also document the long term effect of feedback provision: high achieving students reduce their repetition rate of the national exams, enrol into 0.15 standard deviations more popular University Departments and their expected annual earnings increase by 0.17 standard deviations. Results are opposite for low achieving students. We find suggestive evidence that feedback encourages more students from low-income neighborhoods to enrol in university and to study in higher-quality programs indicating a potential decrease in income inequality.

Suggested Citation

  • Goulas, Sofoklis & Megalokonomou, Rigissa, 2015. "Knowing who you are: The Effect of Feedback Information on Short and Long Term Outcomes," Economic Research Papers 270019, University of Warwick - Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:uwarer:270019
    DOI: 10.22004/ag.econ.270019
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    Cited by:

    1. Dobrescu, Isabella & Faravelli, Marco & Megalokonomou, Rigissa & Motta, Alberto, 2019. "Rank Incentives and Social Learning: Evidence from a Randomized Controlled Trial," IZA Discussion Papers 12437, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    2. Owen, Stephanie, 2023. "College major choice and beliefs about relative performance: An experimental intervention to understand gender gaps in STEM," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 97(C).
    3. Fischer, Mira & Wagner, Valentin, 2018. "Effects of timing and reference frame of feedback: Evidence from a field experiment," Discussion Papers, Research Unit: Market Behavior SP II 2018-206, WZB Berlin Social Science Center.
    4. Gwen-Jiro Clochard & Guillaume Hollard & Julia Wirtz, 2022. "More effort or better technologies? On the effect of relative performance feedback," Bristol Economics Discussion Papers 22/767, School of Economics, University of Bristol, UK.
    5. Sofoklis Goulas & Rigissa Megalokonomou, 2019. "Which degrees do students prefer during recessions?," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 56(6), pages 2093-2125, June.
    6. Goulas Sofoklis & Megalokonomou Rigissa, 2020. "Marathon, Hurdling, or Sprint? The Effects of Exam Scheduling on Academic Performance," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 20(2), pages 1-36, April.
    7. Hermes, Henning & Huschens, Martin & Rothlauf, Franz & Schunk, Daniel, 2021. "Motivating low-achievers—Relative performance feedback in primary schools," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 187(C), pages 45-59.
    8. Fischer, Mira & Wagner, Valentin, 2019. "Effects of Timing and Reference Frame of Feedback," Rationality and Competition Discussion Paper Series 150, CRC TRR 190 Rationality and Competition.
    9. Goulas, Sofoklis & Griselda, Silvia & Megalokonomou, Rigissa, 2020. "Comparative Advantage and Gender Gap in STEM," IZA Discussion Papers 13313, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    10. Yu, Han, 2020. "Am I the big fish? The effect of ordinal rank on student academic performance in middle school," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 176(C), pages 18-41.
    11. Benjamin Elsner & Ingo E. Isphording, 2018. "Rank, Sex, Drugs, and Crime," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 53(2), pages 356-381.
    12. Ertac, Seda & Gümren, Mert & Koçkesen, Levent, 2019. "Strategic feedback in teams: Theory and experimental evidence," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 162(C), pages 1-23.
    13. Brade, Raphael & Himmler, Oliver & Jäckle, Robert, 2018. "Normatively Framed Relative Performance Feedback – Field Experiment and Replication," MPRA Paper 88830, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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    Keywords

    Financial Economics;

    JEL classification:

    • I23 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Higher Education; Research Institutions
    • J21 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Force and Employment, Size, and Structure

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