Abstract

https://ssrn.com/abstract=2563757
 


 



Curbing Adult Student Attrition: Evidence from a Field Experiment


Raj Chande


Behavioural Insights Team

Michael Luca


Harvard Business School - Negotiations, Organizations & Markets Unit

Michael Sanders


Cabinet Office (UK) - Behavioural Insights Team

Xian‐Zhi Soon


Behavioural Insights Team

Oana Borcan


Göteborg University

Netta Barak Corren


Harvard Law School; Hebrew University of Jerusalem

Elizabeth Linos


Harvard Kennedy School of Government

Elspeth Kirkman


Behavioural Insights Team

Sean Robinson


Behavioural Insights Team

February 1, 2015

Harvard Business School NOM Unit Working Paper No. 15-065

Abstract:     
Roughly 20% of adults in the OECD lack basic numeracy and literacy skills. In the UK, many colleges offer fully government subsidized adult education programs to improve these skills. Constructing a unique dataset consisting of weekly attendance records for 1179 students, we find that approximately 25% of learners stop attending these programs in the first ten weeks and that average attendance rates deteriorate by 20% in that time. We implement a large‐scale field experiment in which we send encouraging text messages to students. Our initial results show that these simple text messages reduce the proportion of students that stop attending by 36% and lead to a 7% increase in average attendance relative to the control group. The effects on attendance rates persist through the three weeks of available data following the initial intervention.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 24

Keywords: Behavioral Economics, Field Experiment, Education, Adult Education


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Date posted: February 13, 2015  

Suggested Citation

Chande, Raj and Luca, Michael and Sanders, Michael and Soon, Xian‐Zhi and Borcan, Oana and Barak Corren, Netta and Linos, Elizabeth and Kirkman, Elspeth and Robinson, Sean, Curbing Adult Student Attrition: Evidence from a Field Experiment (February 1, 2015). Harvard Business School NOM Unit Working Paper No. 15-065. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2563757 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2563757

Contact Information

Raj Chande
Behavioural Insights Team ( email )
London, SW1A 2AS
United Kingdom
Michael Luca (Contact Author)
Harvard Business School - Negotiations, Organizations & Markets Unit ( email )
Soldiers Field Road
Boston, MA 02163
United States
HOME PAGE: http://drfd.hbs.edu/fit/public/facultyInfo.do?facInfo=ovr&facId=602417

Michael Sanders
Cabinet Office (UK) - Behavioural Insights Team ( email )
London, SW1A 2AS
United Kingdom
Xian‐Zhi Soon
Behavioural Insights Team ( email )
London, SW1A 2AS
United Kingdom
Oana Borcan
Göteborg University ( email )
Viktoriagatan 30
Goeteborg, 405 30
Sweden
Netta Barak Corren
Harvard Law School ( email )
1875 Cambridge Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States
Hebrew University of Jerusalem ( email )
Mount Scopus
Jerusalem, IL 91905
Israel
Elizabeth Linos
Harvard Kennedy School of Government ( email )
Elspeth Kirkman
Behavioural Insights Team ( email )
London, SW1A 2AS
United Kingdom
Sean Robinson
Behavioural Insights Team ( email )
London, SW1A 2AS
United Kingdom
Feedback to SSRN


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