Can Information Change Preferences for Higher Education? Evidence from a Randomized Experiment in Colombia
31 Pages Posted: 19 May 2022
We conducted a randomized controlled trial to examine the role of information provision on students’ preferences on higher education. The preferences were measured using a discrete choice experiment. The subjects comprised 2652 10 th grade low-income Colombian students, all of whom intended to enrol into tertiary education. Compared to the control group, students treated with information on financial aid and tuition costs show an increased preference for higher-quality institutions and a decreased preference for public institutions. If information is provided on the returns to higher education and enrolment rates, a decreased preference for public institutions was observed. We also inspected actual choices of surveyed individuals in administrative records. Although only 29.7% of them actually enrolled into higher education, we found that actual choices relate to elicited preferences: compared to the control group, treated students were moderately more likely to enrol tertiary education and choose accredited universities, while less likely to enrol public institutions.
Keywords: C25, I23, I25, I28
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