Major Malfunction: A Field Experiment Correcting Undergraduates' Beliefs about Salaries
33 Pages Posted: 11 May 2017 Last revised: 26 Mar 2019
Date Written: July 10, 2018
I test, in a field experiment at a flagship state university in the US, whether providing college students salary information can affect their choices of major and classes. I find that undergraduates are substantially misinformed about mean salaries by major. On average, students in my sample underestimate mean salaries, but there is also large heterogeneity in beliefs across individuals. I also find that providing information to correct these errors has a large impact on students’ choices; students in the treatment group were nine percentage points (16%) more likely to major in a field about which they received information.
Keywords: College Major, Information, Field Experiment, Education
JEL Classification: I26, C93, D83
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation