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Information and Student Achievement: Evidence from a Cellular Phone Experiment

  • Roland G. Fryer, Jr

This paper describes a field experiment in Oklahoma City Public Schools in which students were provided with free cellular phones and daily information about the link between human capital and future outcomes via text message. Students' reported beliefs about the relationship between education and outcomes were influenced by treatment, and treatment students also report being more focused and working harder in school. However, there were no measureable changes in attendance, behavioral incidents, or test scores. The patterns in the data appear most consistent with a model in which students cannot translate effort into measureable output, though other explanations are possible.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 19113.

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Date of creation: Jun 2013
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:19113
Note: ED LS
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  1. Nelson, Philip, 1974. "Advertising as Information," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 82(4), pages 729-54, July/Aug..
  2. Dean Karlan & Margaret McConnell & Sendhil Mullainathan & Jonathan Zinman, 2010. "Getting to the Top of Mind: How Reminders Increase Saving," NBER Working Papers 16205, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. David S. Lee, 2009. "Training, Wages, and Sample Selection: Estimating Sharp Bounds on Treatment Effects," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 76(3), pages 1071-1102.
  4. Philip M. Clarke & Chris Ryan, 2006. "Self-reported health: reliability and consequences for health inequality measurement," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 15(6), pages 645-652.
  5. David W.Johnston & Carol Propper & Michael A.Shields, 2007. "Comparing Subjective and Objective Measures of Health: Evidence from Hypertension for the Income/Health Gradient," The Centre for Market and Public Organisation 07/171, Department of Economics, University of Bristol, UK.
  6. Roland G. Fryer, 2013. "Teacher Incentives and Student Achievement: Evidence from New York City Public Schools," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 31(2), pages 373 - 407.
  7. Shleifer, Andrei & Mullainathan, Sendhil & Schwartzstein, Joshua, 2008. "Coarse Thinking and Persuasion," Scholarly Articles 11022284, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  8. Kasy, Maximilian, . "Why Experimenters Might Not Always Want to Randomize, and What They Could Do Instead," Working Paper 36154, Harvard University OpenScholar.
  9. Orazio Attanasio & Katja Kaufmann, 2009. "Educational Choices, Subjective Expectations, and Credit Constraints," NBER Working Papers 15087, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Miriam Bruhn & David McKenzie, 2009. "In Pursuit of Balance: Randomization in Practice in Development Field Experiments," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 1(4), pages 200-232, October.
  11. Christopher Avery & Thomas J. Kane, 2004. "Student Perceptions of College Opportunities. The Boston COACH Program," NBER Chapters, in: College Choices: The Economics of Where to Go, When to Go, and How to Pay For It, pages 355-394 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Katja Kaufmann, 2008. "Understanding the Income Gradient in College Attendance in Mexico: The Role of Heterogeneity in Expected Returns to College," Discussion Papers 07-040, Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research.
  13. Karthik Muralidharan & Venkatesh Sundararaman, 2009. "Teacher Performance Pay: Experimental Evidence from India," NBER Working Papers 15323, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. 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.
  15. Esther Duflo & Rema Hanna & Stephen P. Ryan, 2012. "Incentives Work: Getting Teachers to Come to School," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(4), pages 1241-78, June.
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