Improving retention in Vocational Training in Buenos Aires

Last registered on March 22, 2021

Pre-Trial

Trial Information

General Information

Title
Improving retention in Vocational Training in Buenos Aires
RCT ID
AEARCTR-0007399
Initial registration date
March 22, 2021

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
March 22, 2021, 1:11 PM EDT

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

Last updated
March 22, 2021, 1:15 PM EDT

Last updated is the most recent time when changes to the trial's registration were published.

Locations

Region

Primary Investigator

Affiliation
Bocconi University

Other Primary Investigator(s)

PI Affiliation
University of Essex

Additional Trial Information

Status
On going
Start date
2021-03-10
End date
2021-12-31
Secondary IDs
Abstract
In this experiment, we study the extent to which information about the benefits and costs of public vocational training programs in Buenos Aires affect enrollment and dropout. We elicit expectations from prospective students just prior to enrollment about future wages, employment, and study hours. We then provide a random subset of students with the option to purchase information about either the benefits or costs of the program using a BDM mechanism. Finally, we provide the information and collect their posteriors conditional on purchase. Using administrative records from participating schools, we test the hypothesis that better-informed participants are less likely to dropout conditional on enrollment. We explore stigma in seeking information about the challenges of a career path as an explanation for existing informational asymmetries
External Link(s)

Registration Citation

Citation
Gars, Jared and Egon Tripodi. 2021. "Improving retention in Vocational Training in Buenos Aires ." AEA RCT Registry. March 22. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.7399
Experimental Details

Interventions

Intervention(s)

Intervention Start Date
2021-03-10
Intervention End Date
2021-03-15

Primary Outcomes

Primary Outcomes (end points)
Self-reported expectations about wages, employment and study hours.

Administrative data on enrollment in vocational training program, dropout in first quadrimester

Primary Outcomes (explanation)

Secondary Outcomes

Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Grades, Attendance
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)

Experimental Design

Experimental Design
We run an experiment with individuals that pre-registered for one of seven of the City of Buenos Aires’ public vocational training programs.
The experiment proceeds as follows:

In the week prior to actual registration into their selected program, we measure all respondents’ prior expectations about the number of weekly hours of studying: needed to pass the exams, needed to rank within the top 10% of students, they actually plan to study. We then collect their expectations about the monthly salary and likelihood of employment in five years if they: graduate, graduate in the top 10%, dropout.

Respondents are then randomly assigned to one of three groups:
(1) a control group
(2) opportunity to purchase information about expected salary and probability of employment five years after the program starts for individuals that graduate, graduate in the top 10%, or dropout.
(3) opportunity to purchase information on the number of weekly hours studying it takes to pass the exams, to be in the top 10% of students, as well as actual weekly hours of study of older cohorts

The information in both treatment groups was generated using a survey we collected from students in a previous cohort and is program-specific. In both treatments, respondents are informed about the content and source of the information and then their WTP for the corresponding information is elicited using a Becker-Degroot-Marschak mechanism. The price is drawn from a distribution with a high mass at zero so that over 90 percent of individuals in each group received the information regardless of their WTP. Finally, we elicit respondents’ posteriors for the variables that were relevant to the information provision.

During the survey, we collect further information on their self-assessed relative ability, stigma about asking for information, numeracy, preferences including risk aversion and patience, and an incentivized measure of ambiguity aversion.

In April 2021, we will collect administrative data from participating schools to measure outcomes including actual student enrollment, dropout during the first quadrimester, grades, and attendance.
Experimental Design Details
Randomization Method
Randomization done in qualtrics
Randomization Unit
Individual
Was the treatment clustered?
No

Experiment Characteristics

Sample size: planned number of clusters
~750 pre-registrants
Sample size: planned number of observations
~750 pre-registrants
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
~250 pre-registrants control arm
~250 pre-registrants benefits information treatment
~250 pre-registrants effort information treatment
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
IRB

Institutional Review Boards (IRBs)

IRB Name
University of Essex Ethics Committee
IRB Approval Date
2021-02-15
IRB Approval Number
N/A

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