NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

NBER Working Papers by Daniel Lang

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Working Papers

December 2006Lead Them to Water and Pay Them to Drink: An Experiment with Services and Incentives for College Achievement
with Joshua Angrist, Philip Oreopoulos: w12790
High rates of attrition, delayed completion, and poor achievement are growing concerns at colleges and universities in North America. This paper reports on a randomized field experiment involving two strategies designed to improve these outcomes among first-year undergraduates at a large Canadian university. One treatment group was offered peer advising and organized study group services. Another was offered substantial merit-scholarships for solid, but not necessarily top, first year grades. A third treatment group combined both interventions. Service take-up rates were much higher for students offered both services and scholarships than for those offered services alone. Females also used services more than males. No program had an effect on grades for males. However, first-term gra...

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