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Seminario CEDE

Thursday 23 May 2019, 12:30 - 13:45
by Hits : 1961




I conduct field and lab-in-the-field experiments, with students preparing for a college entrance exam, to identify how receiving relative performance feedback affects students’ beliefs, performance and academic decisions. I elicit beliefs from all students about relative performance in weekly practice tests and provide feedback to treated students about their actual standing in the score distribution at a test preparation center in Colombia. Combining the panel dataset collected from the experiment with administrative data, I study impacts on: (i) relative performance beliefs, (ii) academic investments, (iii) academic decisions, and (iv) performance. First, feedback makes bottom performers invest less in academic inputs like taking practice tests and study time. Second, I find that top- and bottom-performing students receiving feedback are less likely to take the entrance exam. Third, heterogeneous effects by gender indicate that women do not change investments but lead the negative effect on exam taking, and are much less likely to gain admission despite similar performance in practice tests. Fourth, beliefs elicited with an incentive compatible task do not match the beliefs revealed by students’ actions. Overall, my results shed light on the potential discouragement effects of informational interventions on students with low academic performance.

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