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Active Choice Framing and Intergenerational Education Benefits
Last registered on July 12, 2019

Pre-Trial

Trial Information
General Information
Title
Active Choice Framing and Intergenerational Education Benefits
RCT ID
AEARCTR-0004442
Initial registration date
July 12, 2019
Last updated
July 12, 2019 3:41 PM EDT
Location(s)
Region
Primary Investigator
Affiliation
Mason School of Business, College of William & Mary
Other Primary Investigator(s)
PI Affiliation
U.S. Military Academy at West Point
PI Affiliation
U.S. Army
PI Affiliation
University of Virginia
Additional Trial Information
Status
Completed
Start date
2018-06-01
End date
2019-05-01
Secondary IDs
Abstract
The Post-9/11 GI Bill allows service members to transfer generous education benefits to a dependent. We run a large-scale experiment to test whether, information, active choice framing, and planning prompts affect U.S. Army service members’ decisions to transfer benefits.
External Link(s)
Registration Citation
Citation
Castleman, Benjamin et al. 2019. "Active Choice Framing and Intergenerational Education Benefits." AEA RCT Registry. July 12. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.4442-1.0
Former Citation
Castleman, Benjamin et al. 2019. "Active Choice Framing and Intergenerational Education Benefits." AEA RCT Registry. July 12. https://www.socialscienceregistry.org/trials/4442/history/49916
Experimental Details
Interventions
Intervention(s)
The Post-9/11 GI Bill allows service members to transfer generous education benefits to a dependent. We run a large-scale experiment to test whether, information, active choice framing, and planning prompts affect U.S. Army service members’ decisions to transfer benefits.

Our study population consists of Army service members, both officers and enlisted soldiers. Eligibility for Post 9/11 GI Bill Transfer was defined as individuals who were currently on active duty, with at least 6 years of military service, with a dependent family eligible to receive benefits transfer, and who had not transferred any benefits as of May 2018 (n=97,213)
Intervention Start Date
2018-06-01
Intervention End Date
2018-06-30
Primary Outcomes
Primary Outcomes (end points)
Engagement with the intervention
GI Bill Benefit Transfer
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
Engagement with the intervention is measured via email/website clicks
GI Bill Benefit Transfer is measured using administrative data from the Department of Veterans Affairs
Secondary Outcomes
Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)
Experimental Design
Experimental Design
Control group members receive no communications.

Information only members receive an email informing him/her that he/she can use education benefits himself or transfer to a family member. The next steps presented in the information only email are lumped together in a single list

Active Choice members receive an email informing him/her that he/she can use education benefits himself or transfer to a family member, but the email clearly frames GI Bill education benefits use as a choice between own use and transfer.

Active Choice Plus Planning Prompt members receive the same active choice framing described above, and additionally receive in the email a planning prompt to assist in the commitment to making a decision.
Experimental Design Details
Randomization Method
Computer random number generator
Randomization Unit
Individual
Was the treatment clustered?
No
Experiment Characteristics
Sample size: planned number of clusters
n=97,213 individuals
Sample size: planned number of observations
n=97,213 individuals
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
n=97,213 individuals assigned to 1 of 4 groups:

1) control. n=of 24,271
2) information only. n= 24,315
3) active choice framing. n=24,290
4) active choice + planning prompt. n=24,337
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
IRB
INSTITUTIONAL REVIEW BOARDS (IRBs)
IRB Name
U.S. Military Academy
IRB Approval Date
2018-05-23
IRB Approval Number
18-117 Patterson-Castleman-Skimmyhorn-Murphy
Post-Trial
Post Trial Information
Study Withdrawal
Intervention
Is the intervention completed?
No
Is data collection complete?
Data Publication
Data Publication
Is public data available?
No
Program Files
Program Files
Reports and Papers
Preliminary Reports
Relevant Papers