Monday, June 10, 2013

Information and Student Achievement: Evidence from a Cellular Phone Experiment

This paper describes a field experiment in Oklahoma City Public
Schools in which students were provided with free cellular phones and
daily information about the link between human capital and future
outcomes via text message.

Students' reported beliefs about the relationship between education
and outcomes were influenced by treatment.

Treatment students also report being more focused and working harder
in school.

However, there were no measureable changes in attendance, behavioral
incidents, or test scores.

The patterns in the data appear most consistent with a model in
which students cannot translate effort into measureable output,
though other explanations are possible.

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