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Can defaults change behavior when post-intervention effort is required? Evidence from education

Lars Behlen, Oliver Himmler () and Robert Jaeckle
Authors registered in the RePEc Author Service: Robert Jäckle ()

MPRA Paper from University Library of Munich, Germany

Abstract: Little is known about the effectiveness of defaults whenmoving the target outcome requires substantial post-intervention effort. In two field experiments, we change the university exam sign-up procedure to “opt-out” for a single exam (Exp1), and for many exams (Exp2). Both interventions increase sign-up at the beginning of the semester. Downstream, at the end of the semester, opt-out increases exam participation for a single but not for many exams. For the single exam, effects on passing are heterogeneous: students responsive to unrelated university requests convert increased sign-ups into passed exams. For non-responsive students, increased sign-ups result in failed exams due to no-shows. Defaults can thus be effective but need to be carefully targeted.

Keywords: Default; Randomized Field Experiment; Higher Education (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C93 I23 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2022-05-03
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-cbe and nep-exp
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