Can Role Models Help Encourage Young People to Apply to (Selective) Universities: Evidence From a Large Scale English Field Experiment
12 Pages Posted: 6 Jan 2019
Date Written: December 21, 2018
Under-participation in selective universities lowers social mobility in England, the United States, and elsewhere. English universities have standardized tuition costs, and strongly heterogeneous graduate earnings. Attending a selective university is therefore strongly incentivized, yet under-participation is extensive. The British Government sent 11,104 “nudge” letters to school students whose prior attainment made them competitive for entry into selective universities, urging them to consider that option. We evaluate this RCT and find it effective at raising the number of students who apply to, and accept offers from, selective universities. We find the cost to be low relative to outcomes.
Keywords: Field Experiments, Aspirations, Behavioural Economics, Public Policy, Role Models, RCT
JEL Classification: H52, D3
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation