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17. April 2019

Cluster-Seminar Öffentliche Finanzen und Lebenslagen

Information Provision and Postgraduate Studies


17. April 2019
12:30 - 13:30


Karl Popper Room
DIW Berlin
Room 2.3.020
Mohrenstr. 58
10117 Berlin


Frauke Peter
This is the first paper to experimentally examine effects of information provision on postgraduate education decisions. We conduct and evaluate an online-RCT across 446 college students close to completion of their undergraduate degree and provide information about pecuniary and non-pecuniary consequences of postgraduate studies. We find negative effects on intentions and postgraduate enrollment. Exploiting rich baseline information, partly collected five years before the intervention, we show that these effects are strongest for students with worse academic performance based on their final high school GPA and students with parents who have no postgraduate aspirations for their child. For these subgroups of students, the information provision increases the perceived pecuniary returns to having only an undergraduate degree, making a postgraduate degree relatively less attractive. Our results further add to the black box of socio-economic differences in educational decisions and the importance of pecuniary and non-pecuniary information provision, which is scalable at low cost.

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