AbstractWe present evidence from a series of field experiments in college coaching/mentoring. We find large impacts on college attendance and persistence, but only in the treatments where we use an intensive boots-on-the-ground approach to helping students. Our treatments that provide financial incentives or information alone do not appear to be effective. For women, assignment to our mentoring treatment yields a 15 percentage point increase in the college-going rate while treatment on the treated estimates are 30 percentage points (against a control complier mean rate of 43 percent). We find much smaller treatment effects for men, and the difference in treatment effects across genders is partially explained by the differential in self-reported labor market opportunities. We do not find evidence that the treatment effect derives from simple behavioral mistakes, student disorganization, or a lack of easily obtained information. Instead our mentoring program appears to substitute for the potentially expensive and often missing ingredient of skilled parental or teacher time and encouragement. (JEL I21, I23, I28)
American Economic Journal: Applied Economics – American Economic Association
Published: Jul 1, 2017
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