What do parents value in schools? Evidence from the Zones of Choice

Last registered on October 11, 2019


Trial Information

General Information

What do parents value in schools? Evidence from the Zones of Choice
Initial registration date
October 10, 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
October 11, 2019, 11:32 AM EDT

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


Primary Investigator

University of Chicago Booth School of Business

Other Primary Investigator(s)

Additional Trial Information

On going
Start date
End date
Secondary IDs
Selecting schools is arguably one of the most important decisions parents make for their children. In the aggregate, collective decisions made across households distort the incentives of schools, and in extreme cases, schools are incentivized to exert more effort in recruiting high-achieving students than they are affecting any outcomes families may care about. This project directly assesses the factors parents value most in a setting where they are actively making enrollment decisions through a centralized assignment mechanism. We evaluate what margins of information had the strongest impact on changing submitted preferences to learn about what factors matter most to parents.
External Link(s)

Registration Citation

Campos, Christopher. 2019. "What do parents value in schools? Evidence from the Zones of Choice." AEA RCT Registry. October 11. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.4844-1.0
Experimental Details


Distribute information to households and assess how the information changed their preferences. In the long-run, assess how the information affected other outcomes both while in school and afterward.

Intervention Start Date
Intervention End Date

Primary Outcomes

Primary Outcomes (end points)
Short-run: Preferences
Long-run: Test scores, SAT scores, graduation, college enrollment, labor market outcomes
Primary Outcomes (explanation)

Secondary Outcomes

Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)

Experimental Design

Experimental Design
1. Collect baseline preferences and other baseline characteristics

2. Two-stage randomization of information to detect spillovers
a. Randomize school-level saturation
b. Randomize treatment to families within schools

3. Assess the impact of information on outcomes and check for spillovers
Experimental Design Details
Randomization Method
Randomization was done in the office on a computer.
Randomization Unit
Two levels
1. School
2. Individuals
Was the treatment clustered?

Experiment Characteristics

Sample size: planned number of clusters
52 schools
Sample size: planned number of observations
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
20 Pure control group schools
16 Low saturation treatment schools
16 High saturation treatment schools

1906 Receive incoming achievement school-level information
1906 Receive achievement growth school-level information
2641 Receive both
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)

Institutional Review Boards (IRBs)

IRB Name
Committee for Protection of Human Subjects - UC Berkeley
IRB Approval Date
IRB Approval Number


Post Trial Information

Study Withdrawal

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Is the intervention completed?
Data Collection Complete
Data Publication

Data Publication

Is public data available?

Program Files

Program Files
Reports, Papers & Other Materials

Relevant Paper(s)

Reports & Other Materials