How Learning About One's Ability Affects Educational Investments: Evidence from the Advanced Placement Program
Working Paper 52
Publisher: Oakland, CA: Mathematica Policy Research
Feb 07, 2017
- Students who received a personalized message about their potential to succeed in Advanced Placement coursework were 49 percentage points more likely to participate in AP classes than students who did not receive the message.
- Students who received the message enrolled in and passed about one more AP course in the following academic year.
- At the end of the academic year, these students also became substantially more likely to take an AP exam and passed a higher number of exams, increasing their eligibility for college credit.
- However, students who were not surveyed for the study did not respond to the signal. The results suggest that ability signals can be a cost-effective way to increase educational investments, but may only work when they are made salient.
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