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Information on Pecuniary and Non-pecuniary Returns and College Major Choice
Initial registration date
June 03, 2019
June 04, 2019 12:12 PM EDT
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Other Primary Investigator(s)
University of Hawaii at Manoa
Additional Trial Information
We test the effect of providing publicly available information about the pecuniary and non-pecuniary returns to college students deciding their college major. More specifically, we send emails to over 10,000 UC Davis students with information about the ranking of college major categories by average earnings, relatedness of job to major and job satisfaction, randomly varying the information among participants. We plan to measure the effect of information on important education outcomes such as course-taking, grades, college major choice and graduation.
Lusher, Lester and Derek Rury. 2019. "Information on Pecuniary and Non-pecuniary Returns and College Major Choice." AEA RCT Registry. June 04.
We send emails to over 10,000 UC Davis students with information about the ranking of college major categories by average earnings, relatedness of job to major and job satisfaction, randomly varying the information among participants. We plan to measure the effect of information on important education outcomes such as course-taking, grades, college major choice and graduation.
Intervention Start Date
Intervention End Date
Primary Outcomes (end points)
Courses taken, grades, college major(s), minor(s), and graduation outcomes
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
These educational outcomes are standard in the literature exploring the role of providing information about college majors to college students. We will be provide information on all of these outcomes from the university.
Secondary Outcomes (end points)
We are also interested in how these outcomes vary by important demographic characteristics, such as gender, socio-economic status, ethnic background and whether or not they are a first-generation college goer.
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)
We also believe the results may vary by these characteristics. We will be provided information on these characteristics by the university.
We create several groups from a sample of college students at UC Davis, oversampling undecided freshman and sophomores. We then randomly assign students to these groups (treatment arms). Over the course of a week during the beginning of the academic term, we send emails containing the relevant information for each arm. Relevant outcomes are measured through the student's tenure at UC Davis.
Experimental Design Details
I upload email addresses to the stata software, calculate a uniform random variable that randomly assigns a number between 0 and 1 to each observation. I then order the observations on this variable and create equal cutoffs for each treatment arm/control group.
Was the treatment clustered?
Sample size: planned number of clusters
Treatment was administered at the unit of observation (student level).
Sample size: planned number of observations
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
Treatment will be divided roughly equally across treatment arms.
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
INSTITUTIONAL REVIEW BOARDS (IRBs)
Measuring the Effect of Information on College Major Choice
IRB Approval Date
IRB Approval Number