Information Inequality in Major Choices

Last registered on June 06, 2022


Trial Information

General Information

Information Inequality in Major Choices
Initial registration date
May 31, 2022

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
June 06, 2022, 5:21 AM EDT

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


There is information in this trial unavailable to the public. Use the button below to request access.

Request Information

Primary Investigator

Stanford University

Other Primary Investigator(s)

Additional Trial Information

In development
Start date
End date
Secondary IDs
Prior work
This trial does not extend or rely on any prior RCTs.
The project studies how information frictions in centralized college application systems restrain low-SES students from making well-informed major choices and hinder their upward mobility. Using administrative data from China, I find that students from disadvantaged socioeconomic backgrounds are more likely to apply to and enroll in majors that they have been exposed to during high school education despite the lower labor market returns. I conduct an online survey experiment to examine whether the disparity in major choices is driven by differential access to information between high- and low-SES students and whether information treatment can help close the gap.
External Link(s)

Registration Citation

Qiu, Xinyao. 2022. "Information Inequality in Major Choices." AEA RCT Registry. June 06.
Experimental Details


Intervention Start Date
Intervention End Date

Primary Outcomes

Primary Outcomes (end points)
Students' subjective beliefs on whether a major is a good fit for them and the self-perceived accuracy of their own beliefs.
Primary Outcomes (explanation)

Secondary Outcomes

Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)

Experimental Design

Experimental Design
I randomized the students into three groups: one control group and two treatment groups. Each student answers questions about several provided majors. The questions measure their beliefs about the major's labor market outcomes and whether the major fits their interests and aptitude, as well as the students' confidence in the accuracy of their beliefs.

Students in the treatment group A are informed of how the provided majors are related to high school subjects that they are already familiar with. Students in the treatment group B are provided with a list of core courses for each major. Students in the control group do not receive information treatments.
Experimental Design Details
Not available
Randomization Method
Randomization is done by a computer.
Randomization Unit
Was the treatment clustered?

Experiment Characteristics

Sample size: planned number of clusters
Roughly 10 high schools.
Sample size: planned number of observations
Roughly 2,000 students.
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
600 students in the control group, 600 students in the treatment group A, and 600 students in the treatment group B.
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)

Institutional Review Boards (IRBs)

IRB Name
IRB Approval Date
IRB Approval Number