Rethinking Education Choices: The Effect of Surveys

94 Pages Posted: 1 May 2017 Last revised: 21 Nov 2019

See all articles by Luca Facchinello

Luca Facchinello

Singapore Management University

Juanna Schrøter Joensen

University of Chicago; Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA)

Greg Veramendi

Arizona State University (ASU) - Economics Department

Date Written: October 6, 2017

Abstract

Can surveys affect human capital investments? This paper examines whether individual education choices and outcomes are affected by a survey posing questions related to investments, performance, preferences, and expectations. We have administrative data for the whole Swedish population to which an extensive education survey was administered to randomly drawn samples of primary school students and their parents. This constitutes a large-scale randomized social experiment for testing whether responding to survey questions alters behavior. We observe complete education and labor market histories until the individuals are 31-36 years old. The causal effect of the survey on both short- and long-term outcomes is generally not significantly different from zero. We find, however, that being surveyed affects educational attainment, earnings, and employment in the early career for some subgroups. We assess heterogeneity in estimated causal effects and sibling spillovers in order to get at potential mechanisms. The patterns are consistent with the importance of increased awareness (or salience) and short-lived information "nudges".

Keywords: Survey, Awareness, Information, Education Choices

JEL Classification: C42, C83, I21, I24, J24

Suggested Citation

Facchinello, Luca and Joensen, Juanna Schrøter and Veramendi, Greg, Rethinking Education Choices: The Effect of Surveys (October 6, 2017). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2961116 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2961116

Luca Facchinello

Singapore Management University ( email )

Singapore Management University
90 Stamford Road
Singapore, Singapore 178903
Singapore

Juanna Schrøter Joensen (Contact Author)

University of Chicago ( email )

1101 East 58th Street
Chicago, IL 60637
United States

Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) ( email )

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

Greg Veramendi

Arizona State University (ASU) - Economics Department ( email )

Tempe, AZ 85287-3806
United States

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