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

Initial registration date is when the trial was registered.

It corresponds to when the registration was submitted to the Registry to be reviewed for publication.

First published
July 12, 2019, 3:41 PM EDT

First published corresponds to when the trial was first made public on the Registry after being reviewed.

Locations

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
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

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Intervention

Is the intervention completed?
No
Data Collection Complete
Data Publication

Data Publication

Is public data available?
No

Program Files

Program Files
Reports, Papers & Other Materials

Relevant Paper(s)

Reports & Other Materials