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American Economic Journal: Applied Economics: Vol. 1 No. 1 (January 2009)

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Incentives and Services for College Achievement: Evidence from a Randomized Trial

Article Citation

Angrist, Joshua, Daniel Lang, and Philip Oreopoulos. 2009. "Incentives and Services for College Achievement: Evidence from a Randomized Trial." American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, 1(1): 136-63.

DOI: 10.1257/app.1.1.136

Abstract

This paper reports on an experimental evaluation of strategies designed to improve academic performance among college freshmen. One treatment group was offered academic support services. Another was offered financial incentives for good grades. A third group combined both interventions. Service use was highest for women and for subjects in the combined group. The combined treatment also raised the grades and improved the academic standing of women. These differentials persisted through the end of second year, though incentives were given in the first year only. This suggests study skills among some treated women increased. In contrast, the program had no effect on men. (JEL I21, I28)

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Authors

Angrist, Joshua (MIT)
Lang, Daniel (Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, U Toronto)
Oreopoulos, Philip (U British Columbia)

JEL Classifications

I21: Analysis of Education
I28: Education: Government Policy

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