Seminario Applied

Marcello Sartarelli

Universidad de Alicante


Seminar 3 – 14:30


This paper studies the impact of receiving a noisy ability signal, in the form of a nudge in achievement in school tests, on children’s preferences, beliefs and subsequent tests results by using linked administrative and survey data on England. The nudge effect is estimated thanks to a regression discontinuity design that exploits a jump in achievement levels at score cutoffs in compulsory tests in English, Maths and Science at age 11. We find that receiving a nudge increases the probability, firstly, that children like school subjects but the only significant nudge is in Science and, secondly, that achievement is higher in Science tests at age 14. Overall, our results suggest that preferences, beliefs updating and psychological mechanisms associated to them may play a role in explaining variation in children’s achievement that has so far been overlooked in the literature.

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