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Improved Grade Outcomes with an E-Mailed 'Grade Nudge'

Smith, Ben O. and White, Dustin R. and Kuzyk, Patricia and Tierney, James E. Forthcoming (2017/2018). Improved Grade Outcomes with an E-mailed 'Grade Nudge.' The Journal of Economic Education.

17 Pages Posted: 5 Feb 2016 Last revised: 13 Sep 2017

Ben O. Smith

University of Nebraska at Omaha - Department of Economics

Dustin R. White

Department of Economics

Pat Kuzyk

Washington State University - Department of Economics

James Edward Tierney

Pennsylvania State University - Economics Department

Date Written: July 2017

Abstract

Information provided at the moment a person makes a decision can influence behavior in predictable ways. The United Kingdom's Behavioural Insights Team have used this idea to help improve the insulation of lofts, collect taxes, and even reduce litter. The authors of this article developed software that appends a personalized message to each assignment in the class regarding the student’s current grade. This "grade nudge" explains precisely how the assignment will impact the student’s final grade given their current standing in the class. Through a randomized trial, the authors show that the nudge improves student homework performance by about four percentage points.

Notes: A later version of this paper was accepted for publication under a new title: Improved Grade Outcomes with an E-mailed 'Grade Nudge.'

Keywords: nudge, bounded rationality, selective transparency, grading outcomes

JEL Classification: A22, A23, A20

Suggested Citation

Smith, Ben O. and White, Dustin R. and Kuzyk, Pat and Tierney, James Edward, Improved Grade Outcomes with an E-Mailed 'Grade Nudge' (July 2017). Smith, Ben O. and White, Dustin R. and Kuzyk, Patricia and Tierney, James E. Forthcoming (2017/2018). Improved Grade Outcomes with an E-mailed 'Grade Nudge.' The Journal of Economic Education.. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2726925 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2726925

Ben Smith (Contact Author)

University of Nebraska at Omaha - Department of Economics ( email )

College of Business Administration
60th and Dodge Streets
Omaha, NE 68182
United States

HOME PAGE: http://bensresearch.com

Dustin White

Department of Economics ( email )

College of Business Administration
60th and Dodge Streets
Omaha, NE 68182
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.dustinrwhite.com

Pat Kuzyk

Washington State University - Department of Economics ( email )

Pullman, WA 99164-4741
509-335-5141 (Phone)
509-335-4362 (Fax)

James Tierney

Pennsylvania State University - Economics Department ( email )

201 Shields Building
University Park, PA 16802-1294
United States

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