Can Information on School Attributes and Assignment Probabilities Direct Search and Choice? Evidence from Choice Platforms in Ecuador and Peru
Last registered on March 02, 2021

Pre-Trial

Trial Information
General Information
Title
Can Information on School Attributes and Assignment Probabilities Direct Search and Choice? Evidence from Choice Platforms in Ecuador and Peru
RCT ID
AEARCTR-0007122
Initial registration date
March 01, 2021
Last updated
March 02, 2021 6:40 AM EST
Location(s)
Region
Region
Primary Investigator
Affiliation
Princeton University
Other Primary Investigator(s)
PI Affiliation
UC Berkeley
PI Affiliation
Inter-American Development Bank
PI Affiliation
Inter-American Development Bank
PI Affiliation
UC Berkeley
Additional Trial Information
Status
On going
Start date
2020-11-27
End date
2021-04-30
Secondary IDs
Abstract
The main objective of this project is to study how the provision of information regarding available alternatives affects the search and application process of parents with and without non assignment risk on school choice platforms. Previous evidence has documented that there exist heterogeneous beliefs about assignment probabilities and these drive choice application behavior Kapor, Neilson and Zimmerman (2020). In addition, Arteaga, Kapor, Neilson and Zimmerman (2021) provides evidence that biased beliefs of assignment probabilities lead applicants to list too few options and that correcting these beliefs leads applicants to expand their list of options suggesting additional search was conducted in the process. Allende et al (2021) shows evidence of limited awareness of the set of potential options and that information provision on the existence and characteristics of nearby options can change applications and assignments. In this study we add to this literature by testing hypotheses regarding whether providing information about available alternatives, and particularly about the demand and risk of these alternatives, improves the search process of parents. These suggestions are a complement to application risk warning previously tested in the literature with promising results. This serves as a test of whether search is “directed” or “random” and specifically if the design of platforms and the information they provide can shift search and choice behavior. These questions are important as they speak to the importance of the design of information provision on choice and search platforms more broadly.
External Link(s)
Registration Citation
Citation
Arteaga, Felipe et al. 2021. "Can Information on School Attributes and Assignment Probabilities Direct Search and Choice? Evidence from Choice Platforms in Ecuador and Peru." AEA RCT Registry. March 02. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.7122-1.0.
Sponsors & Partners

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Experimental Details
Interventions
Intervention(s)
The Ministry of Education in Ecuadro and Peru are conducting a pilot of centralized school assignment and choice in Manta and Tacna, respectively. With the support of the IDB and ConsiliumBots, the government implemented a campaign to reach out to parents providing information about available alternatives, and particularly about the demand and risk of these alternatives, improves the search process of parents. The information campaign consist on a report card sent to all the applicants with information about their application. The content of the report card was randmoly varied to result in three types:

- Report card 1: A summary of the schools they included in their application, a report on the risk level of not getting a seat at any school in their current application portfolio, and a recomendation to add more schools to their current portfolio to reduce the risk of having an unsuccessful application.
- Report card 2: Additonal to the report card 1, this card provides information about schools located near to their house not included in the current application.
- Report card 3: Additonal to the report card 2, this card agregastes information about the available seats and the current number of applicants in each school.
Intervention Start Date
2021-02-26
Intervention End Date
2021-03-12
Primary Outcomes
Primary Outcomes (end points)
- The number of schools listed by an applicant.
- Probability of assignment in the platform.
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
Secondary Outcomes
Secondary Outcomes (end points)
The inclusion of schools listed or that would have been listed in the personalized report card.
- Probability of editing the application portfolio.
- Probability of editing the rank order of schools in the application portfolio.
- Probability of selecting a school with the characteristic primed in the intervention (schools close to applicant’s house, schools with low demand).
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)
Experimental Design
Experimental Design
Applicants will be randomly assigned into three groups, each one receiving one of the three report cards detailes above. Each group will have one third of the sample. Random assignment will be stratified by country, the risk-level of not getting a seat at any school, the grade the parent is applying to, and relevant geographic categories. In Ecuador, the assignment was also stratified by the risk levels provided in the risk report.
Experimental Design Details
Applicants will be randomly assigned into three groups, each one receiving one of the three report cards detailes above. Each group will have one third of the sample. Random assignment will be stratified by country, the risk-level of not getting a seat at any school, the grade the parent is applying to, and relevant geographic categories. In Ecuador, the assignment was also stratified by the risk levels provided in the risk report.
Randomization Method
Randomization done in office by a computer
Randomization Unit
Applicant.
Was the treatment clustered?
No
Experiment Characteristics
Sample size: planned number of clusters
1800 applicants in Tacna (Peru) and 1200 applicants in Manta (Ecuador)
Sample size: planned number of observations
1800 applicants in Tacna (Peru) and 1200 applicants in Manta (Ecuador)
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
Peru
Rep. Card. 1: 600
Rep. Card. 2: 600
Rep. Card. 3: 600
Ecuadro
Rep. Card. 1: 300
Rep. Card. 2: 300
Rep. Card. 3: 300
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
Unit: number of schools listed by an applicant. SD: 4 MDE: 1 school
IRB
INSTITUTIONAL REVIEW BOARDS (IRBs)
IRB Name
Princeton Research Integrity and Assurance
IRB Approval Date
2021-02-02
IRB Approval Number
13568
IRB Name
Princeton Research Integrity and Assurance
IRB Approval Date
2021-02-24
IRB Approval Number
13618
Analysis Plan

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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, Papers & Other Materials
Relevant Paper(s)
REPORTS & OTHER MATERIALS