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Perceived Ability and School Choices

Author

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  • Bobba, Matteo
  • Frisancho, Veronica

Abstract

This paper studies how youths’ self-perceptions of ability affect their sorting patterns across schools. We design and implement a field experiment in which ninth-graders from less advantaged backgrounds in Mexico City are provided with individualized feedback about their performance on an achievement test. The treatment shifts both the mean and the variance of the subjective distributions of academic ability. This variation is embedded into a discrete choice model that characterizes the channels through which perceived ability shapes individual preferences over school characteristics. Follow-up data on schooling outcomes suggest that the information intervention improved the match between students and education choices.

Suggested Citation

  • Bobba, Matteo & Frisancho, Veronica, 2016. "Perceived Ability and School Choices," TSE Working Papers 16-660, Toulouse School of Economics (TSE), revised Oct 2018.
  • Handle: RePEc:tse:wpaper:30494
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Arcidiacono, Peter & Hotz, V. Joseph & Kang, Songman, 2012. "Modeling college major choices using elicited measures of expectations and counterfactuals," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 166(1), pages 3-16.
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    5. Arcidiacono, Peter, 2004. "Ability sorting and the returns to college major," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 121(1-2), pages 343-375.
    6. Altonji, Joseph G, 1993. "The Demand for and Return to Education When Education Outcomes Are Uncertain," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 11(1), pages 48-83, January.
    7. Pamela Giustinelli, 2016. "Group Decision Making With Uncertain Outcomes: Unpacking Child–Parent Choice Of The High School Track," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 57, pages 573-602, May.
    8. Mizala, Alejandra & Urquiola, Miguel, 2013. "School markets: The impact of information approximating schools' effectiveness," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 103(C), pages 313-335.
    9. Bertrand, Marianne & Hanna, Rema & Mullainathan, Sendhil, 2010. "Affirmative action in education: Evidence from engineering college admissions in India," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 94(1-2), pages 16-29, February.
    10. Adeline Delavande & Xavier Giné & David McKenzie, 2011. "Eliciting probabilistic expectations with visual aids in developing countries: how sensitive are answers to variations in elicitation design?," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 26(3), pages 479-497, April.
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    12. Ralph Stinebrickner & Todd R. Stinebrickner, 2014. "A Major in Science? Initial Beliefs and Final Outcomes for College Major and Dropout," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 81(1), pages 426-472.
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    Cited by:

    1. repec:eee:ecoedu:v:64:y:2018:i:c:p:313-342 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Damgaard, Mette Trier & Nielsen, Helena Skyt, 2018. "Nudging in education," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 64(C), pages 313-342.
    3. Sean P. Corcoran & Jennifer L. Jennings & Sarah R. Cohodes & Carolyn Sattin-Bajaj, 2018. "Leveling the Playing Field for High School Choice: Results from a Field Experiment of Informational Interventions," NBER Working Papers 24471, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Tyler Ransom & Esteban Aucejo & Arnaud Maurel & Peter Arcidiacono, 2014. "College Attrition and the Dynamics of Information Revelation," 2014 Meeting Papers 529, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    5. Avinatan Hassidim & Déborah Marciano & Assaf Romm & Ran I. Shorrer, 2017. "The Mechanism Is Truthful, Why Aren't You?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 107(5), pages 220-224, May.
    6. Avitabile, Ciro & Bobba, Matteo & Pariguana, Marco, 2017. "High School Track Choice and Liquidity Constraints: Evidence from Urban Mexico," IZA Discussion Papers 10506, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Information; Subjective expectations; Beliefs updating; Biased beliefs; School choice; Discrete choice models; Control function; Stable matching;

    JEL classification:

    • D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness
    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education
    • I24 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Education and Inequality
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity

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