As a learning organization, our projects have embedded randomized evaluation designs. These designs have allowed to evaluate and generate rigorous evidence of the impact of those interventions through our affiliated researchers and academic advisors.
In centralized school choice, beliefs about admissions chances influence applicant choices. Live feedback in "smart matching platforms" helps applicants search effectively. Research in Chile and New Haven shows live feedback reduces nonplacement risk by 58% and enhances access to schools that have higher test scores by 0.10 SD.
An intervention to address application mistakes was implemented in the centralized college admissions system in Chile, which provided personalized information about admission probabilities. As a result, there was a significant reduction in non-assignement risk, and application mistakes decreased for students. The intervention demonstrated the impact of information frictions on the performance of centralized college admissions systems.
An RCT intervention that gave information to high-performing students on their performance relative to other students. The results show that women and men were affected differently by the intervention: effects for women with high self-confidence are higher than the effects for men in the same group. For high-performing women who have low self-confidence in their math ability, the probability that they apply to any major increases and the selectivity of their choice of major-university also increases.
Governments expand the use of centralized student assignment systems to solve the problems in traditional enrollment and to make them more transparent, efficient, and equitable. The guide presents steps to do this. 1) diagnosis and planning; 2) general definitions; 3) platform development; and 4) information interventions and communication campaigns. A fifth phase is added to evaluate and improve the system.
Traditional decentralized school assignment systems are inefficient and lack transparency. Centralized digital systems offer efficiency, cost-effectiveness, monitoring, transparency, and planning tools. An estimation shows that, in Chile, implementing digital centralization could result in a net impact of USD 13.1 Million, considering implementation costs, transition savings, and efficiency gains, confirming its effectiveness and cost-effectiveness (available in Spanish and Portuguese).
This paper explores the impact of personalized information interventions in Ecuador's centralized teacher assignment system. A warning about non-assignment risk and achievable teaching position recommendations significantly influenced teacher applications, increasing the likelihood of securing an assignment. The intervention also boosted overall assignment rates and selection scores, indicating its potential applicability in other contexts.
In Ecuador, the study compares school assignment systems based solely on minimizing distance to one incorporating household preferences (DA algorithm). Analyzing administrative data and a mechanism change in 2021, it finds significant welfare gains when considering applicant preferences. Counterfactual scenarios show minimal differences between assignment methods, supported by survey data on household beliefs and satisfaction, suggesting substantial welfare impacts in developing countries.
This study in Peru and Ecuador assesses the impact of personalized information on elementary school choice. In Peru, feedback on placement risk and school suggestions led to applicants adding more schools and favoring recommended ones. Ecuador, with less outreach and lower school density, showed marginal effects. WhatsApp "warning" played a role in differing outcomes.
The state of Pernambuco, Brazil, aims to increase enrollment of economically disadvantaged students in full-time schools. A pilot centralized school admission program with BID introduced informative interventions, positively impacting application rates, indicating students considered more options due to increased exposure to school offerings (available in Portuguese only).
This study examines how centralized school choice and participants' beliefs impact welfare outcomes. Beliefs often deviate from rational expectations, affecting choices. Analyzing belief errors, it finds that switching to a truthful reporting in a DA mechanism enhances welfare, contrary to an assumption of accurate beliefs.
This paper examines the impact of an information intervention in Chile's primary education market. The intervention shifted parent choices towards higher-quality, more distant schools. Student achievement improved by 0.2 SD five years after the intervention.
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