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Rewarding schooling success and perceived returns to education: evidence from India

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  • Sequeira, Sandra
  • Spinnewijn, Johannes
  • Xu, Guo

Abstract

This paper tests two specific mechanisms through which individuals can form expectations about returns to investments in education: recognition for schooling performance, and exposure to successful students through family or social networks. Using a regression discontinuity design, we study the impact of two fellowship programs recognizing educational performance in secondary schools in India. We find that the fellowship award is associated with a significant increase in the perceived value of education, by both increasing the perceived mean of earnings (0.74 standard deviations (SD)) and decreasing the perceived variance in earnings (1.03 SD) associated with additional years of schooling. The effects spill over only selectively to social and family networks. Peers exposed to successful students do not update their beliefs but parents of fellows report higher perceived returns to education. Peers of fellows are however more informed about fellowship opportunities and report a higher intention to apply for the fellowship, thus contributing to the persistence of the potential impact of the fellowship across different cohorts.

Suggested Citation

  • Sequeira, Sandra & Spinnewijn, Johannes & Xu, Guo, 2016. "Rewarding schooling success and perceived returns to education: evidence from India," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 68279, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  • Handle: RePEc:ehl:lserod:68279
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    Cited by:

    1. 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.
    2. Ricardo Estrada & Jérémie Gignoux, 2014. "Benefits to elite schools and the formation of expected returns to education: Evidence from Mexico City," Working Papers halshs-00951763, HAL.
    3. Teodora Boneva & Christopher Rauh, 2017. "Socio-Economic Gaps in University Enrollment: The Role of Perceived Pecuniary and Non-Pecuniary Returns," Working Papers 2017-080, Human Capital and Economic Opportunity Working Group.
    4. Rajesh Chandy & Om Narasimhan, 2015. "Millions of Opportunities: An Agenda for Research in Emerging Markets," Customer Needs and Solutions, Springer;Institute for Sustainable Innovation and Growth (iSIG), vol. 2(4), pages 251-263, December.
    5. Ilya Prakhov, 2019. "The Determinants Of Expected Returns On Higher Education In Russia: A Human Capital Theory Perspective," HSE Working papers WP BRP 50/EDU/2019, National Research University Higher School of Economics.
    6. Stephen Smith, 2018. "Development Economics Meets the Challenges of Lagging U.S. Areas: Applications to Education, Health and Nutrition, Behavior, and Infrastructure," Working Papers 2018-7, The George Washington University, Institute for International Economic Policy.
    7. Ilya Prakhov, 2017. "Determinants of Expected Return on Higher Education in Moscow," Educational Studies, Higher School of Economics, issue 1, pages 25-57.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Returns to education; Subjective expectations; Peer effects;

    JEL classification:

    • D84 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Expectations; Speculations
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity

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