A Letter and Encouragement: Does Information Increase Post-Secondary Enrollment of UI Recipients?
For individuals who experience job loss, enrollment in post-secondary programs may provide an opportunity to improve future employment outcomes. However, decisions to enroll may be hampered by insufficient information about the benefits and costs and the necessary steps and assistance available to facilitate such investments. Using variation in the dissemination and timing of letters sent to UI recipients containing this information, we find that individuals sent the information are 40% more likely to enroll. These findings suggest that well-coordinated information interventions delivered with institutional support may be more effective than raising the generosity of existing government programs in increasing participation.
For constructive comments, we would like to thank seminar participants at the University of Virginia, the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, the Institute for Research on Poverty, the Stata Applied Microeconomics conference, West Point, the NBER Economics of Education group, and the Naval Postgraduate School. We are also grateful to John Anders, Nate Pattison, and Fran Murphy for research and editorial assistance. The views expressed herein are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Bureau of Economic Research.
Andrew Barr & Sarah Turner, 2018. "A Letter and Encouragement: Does Information Increase Postsecondary Enrollment of UI Recipients?," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 10(3), pages 42-68, August. citation courtesy of