NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

The Effects of Earnings Disclosure on College Enrollment Decisions

Justine Hastings, Christopher A. Neilson, Seth D. Zimmerman

NBER Working Paper No. 21300
Issued in June 2015, Revised in July 2017
NBER Program(s):   DEV   ED   LS   PE

We use a large-scale survey and field experiment to evaluate a policy that provided information about earnings and costs to college applicants in Chile. The intervention was administered by the Chilean government and reached 30% of student loan applicants. Students overestimate post-graduation earnings outcomes at low-earning college degree programs but have reasonably accurate beliefs about tuition. Disclosure of earnings outcomes for past graduates reduces demand for degrees in the bottom tercile of the expected labor market return distribution by 3.3%. Effects are concentrated among low-SES and low-scoring students. Effect size is limited by strong preferences for non-earnings degree attributes.

download in pdf format
   (890 K)

email paper

Supplementary materials for this paper:

Machine-readable bibliographic record - MARC, RIS, BibTeX

Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w21300

Users who downloaded this paper also downloaded* these:
Hastings, Neilson, Ramirez, and Zimmerman w21330 (Un)Informed College and Major Choice: Evidence from Linked Survey and Administrative Data
Hastings, Neilson, and Zimmerman w19241 Are Some Degrees Worth More than Others? Evidence from college admission cutoffs in Chile
Hastings, Neilson, and Zimmerman w18324 The Effect of School Choice on Intrinsic Motivation and Academic Outcomes
Hoxby w19816 The Economics of Online Postsecondary Education: MOOCs, Nonselective Education, and Highly Selective Education
Case and Deaton w21279 Suicide, Age, and Wellbeing: an Empirical Investigation
 
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