NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Behavioral Economics of Education: Progress and Possibilities

Adam M. Lavecchia, Heidi Liu, Philip Oreopoulos

NBER Working Paper No. 20609
Issued in October 2014
NBER Program(s):   CH   ED   LS

Behavioral economics attempts to integrate insights from psychology, neuroscience, and sociology in order to better predict individual outcomes and develop more effective policy. While the field has been successfully applied to many areas, education has, so far, received less attention - a surprising oversight, given the field's key interest in long-run decision-making and the propensity of youth to make poor long-run decisions. In this chapter, we review the emerging literature on the behavioral economics of education. We first develop a general framework for thinking about why youth and their parents might not always take full advantage of education opportunities. We then discuss how these behavioral barriers may be preventing some students from improving their long-run welfare. We evaluate the recent but rapidly growing efforts to develop policies that mitigate these barriers, many of which have been examined in experimental settings. Finally, we discuss future prospects for research in this emerging field.

You may purchase this paper on-line in .pdf format from SSRN.com ($5) for electronic delivery.

Access to NBER Papers

You are eligible for a free download if you are a subscriber, a corporate associate of the NBER, a journalist, an employee of the U.S. federal government with a ".GOV" domain name, or a resident of nearly any developing country or transition economy.

If you usually get free papers at work/university but do not at home, you can either connect to your work VPN or proxy (if any) or elect to have a link to the paper emailed to your work email address below. The email address must be connected to a subscribing college, university, or other subscribing institution. Gmail and other free email addresses will not have access.

E-mail:

Machine-readable bibliographic record - MARC, RIS, BibTeX

Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w20609

Users who downloaded this paper also downloaded* these:
Oreopoulos, Brown, and Lavecchia w20430 Pathways to Education: An Integrated Approach to Helping At-Risk High School Students
Levitt, List, Neckermann, and Sadoff w18165 The Behavioralist Goes to School: Leveraging Behavioral Economics to Improve Educational Performance
Madrian w20318 Applying Insights from Behavioral Economics to Policy Design
Deming, Yuchtman, Abulafi, Goldin, and Katz w20528 The Value of Postsecondary Credentials in the Labor Market: An Experimental Study
Chetty w20928 Behavioral Economics and Public Policy: A Pragmatic Perspective
 
Publications
Activities
Meetings
NBER Videos
Themes
Data
People
About

National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138; 617-868-3900; email: info@nber.org

Contact Us