Munich Personal RePEc Archive

Social Information and Educational Investment - Nudging Remedial Math Course Participation

Brade, Raphael (2022): Social Information and Educational Investment - Nudging Remedial Math Course Participation.

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Using randomized field experiments, I investigate the effectiveness of two social information interventions at increasing participation in a voluntary remedial math course for university students. In Intervention 1, incoming students receive invitation letters with information about the course sign-up rate in a previous semester. In Intervention 2, the students who signed up for the course receive reminder letters that include information on how helpful the course has been evaluated by previous students. On average, neither intervention increases participation in the course, but further analyses reveal that the effects of Intervention 1 are heterogeneous along two dimensions: First, by increasing the salience of the course, it raises attendance among students who enroll late in their study program, which in turn increases their first-year performance and closes the achievement gap to early enrollees. Second, the effect of the information about the past sign-up rate depends on the predicted ex-ante sign-up probability. Students for whom the prediction falls just short of the past sign-up rate increase sign-up and participation, while the opposite is true for students whose sign-up probability exceeds the social information. Along this dimension, however, the changes in attendance do not carry over to academic achievements.

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