Economics at your fingertips  

The Effects of Earnings Disclosure on College Enrollment Decisions

Justine Hastings, Christopher Neilson () and Seth Zimmerman

No 21300, NBER Working Papers from National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc

Abstract: We use a large-scale survey and field experiment to evaluate a policy that provided information about college- and major-specific earnings and cost outcomes to college applicants in Chile. The intervention was administered by the Chilean government and reached 30% of student loan applicants. We show that the low-income and low-achieving students who apply to low-earning college degree programs overestimate earnings for past graduates by over 100%, while beliefs for high-achieving students are correctly centered. Treatment causes low-income students to reduce their demand for low-return degrees by 4.6%, and increases the likelihood they remain in college for at least four years. To understand the mechanisms driving the effect of disclosure policies we estimate a model of college demand. We find that disclosure changes college choice by reducing uncertainty about earnings outcomes, but that its impact is limited by strong student preferences for non-pecuniary degree attributes.

JEL-codes: H0 H52 I22 I23 I24 I26 J3 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2015-06
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-edu, nep-lma and nep-pbe
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: View citations in EconPapers (30) Track citations by RSS feed

Downloads: (external link) (application/pdf)

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:

Ordering information: This working paper can be ordered from

Access Statistics for this paper

More papers in NBER Working Papers from National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.. Contact information at EDIRC.
Bibliographic data for series maintained by ().

Page updated 2020-07-09
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:21300