When Information is Not Enough: Evidence from a Centralized School Choice System

59 Pages Posted: 7 Oct 2020 Last revised: 14 Mar 2021

See all articles by Kehinde Ajayi

Kehinde Ajayi

World Bank

Willa Friedman

University of Houston - Department of Economics

Adrienne Lucas

University of Delaware - Alfred Lerner College of Business and Economics

Date Written: October 2020

Abstract

Students often make school choice decisions with inadequate information. We present results from delivering information to randomly selected students (and some randomly selected parents) across 900 junior high schools in Ghana, a country with universal secondary school choice. We provided guidance on application strategies and reported the selectivity and exit exam performance of secondary schools, information students and parents prioritized. We find that despite information changing the characteristics of schools to which students applied and students gaining admission to higher value-added schools, they were not more likely to matriculate on time or at all. Information was not the only constraint.

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Suggested Citation

Ajayi, Kehinde and Friedman, Willa and Lucas, Adrienne, When Information is Not Enough: Evidence from a Centralized School Choice System (October 2020). NBER Working Paper No. w27887, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3705097

Kehinde Ajayi (Contact Author)

World Bank ( email )

1818 H Street, NW
Washington, DC 20433
United States

Willa Friedman

University of Houston - Department of Economics ( email )

Houston, TX 77204-5882
United States

Adrienne Lucas

University of Delaware - Alfred Lerner College of Business and Economics ( email )

419 Purnell Hall
Newark, DE 19716
United States

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