Economics at your fingertips  

Simplification and defaults affect adoption and impact of technology, but decision makers do not realize it

Peter Bergman, Jessica Lasky-Fink and Todd Rogers

Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 2020, vol. 158, issue C, 66-79

Abstract: A field experiment (N = 6976) examines how enrollment defaults affect adoption and impact of an education technology that sends weekly automated alerts on students’ academic progress to parents. We show that a standard (high-friction) opt-in process induces extremely low parent take-up (<1%), while a simplified process yields higher enrollment (11%). Yet, with such low take-up, both fail to improve average student achievement. Meanwhile, automatically enrolling parents increases take-up to 95% and improves student achievement as measured by GPA and course passing. The GPA of students whose parents were automatically enrolled increased by an average of 0.06 points, and one in four students did not fail a class they would have otherwise failed. Surveys show automatic enrollment is uncommon, and its impact is underestimated: District leaders overestimate take-up under standard opt-in processes by about 40 percentage points and underestimate take-up under automatic enrollment by 29 percentage points. After learning the actual take-up rates, district leaders report being willing to pay substantially more for the technology when implemented under automatic enrollment than by standard opt-in processes.

Keywords: Defaults; Simplification; Expert prediction; Education (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2020
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: Track citations by RSS feed

Downloads: (external link)
Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

Related works:
This item may be available elsewhere in EconPapers: Search for items with the same title.

Export reference: BibTeX RIS (EndNote, ProCite, RefMan) HTML/Text

Persistent link:

DOI: 10.1016/j.obhdp.2019.04.001

Access Statistics for this article

Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes is currently edited by John M. Schaubroeck

More articles in Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes from Elsevier
Bibliographic data for series maintained by Haili He ().

Page updated 2020-10-03
Handle: RePEc:eee:jobhdp:v:158:y:2020:i:c:p:66-79