October 2019

IZA DP No. 12735: Information Provision and Postgraduate Studies

Jan Berkes, Frauke Peter, C. Katharina Spiess, Felix Weinhardt

This is the first paper to experimentally examine effects of information provision on beliefs about pecuniary and non-pecuniary returns of postgraduate education, enrollment intentions and realized enrollment. We find that our treatment causally affects beliefs measured six month after treatment. The effects on beliefs differ by gender and academic background, and we find that stated enrollment intentions change accordingly: in particular males significantly adjust their beliefs and intentions to undertake postgraduate studies. We follow the students further and provide evidence on actual enrollment one year after treatment. Taken together, this study highlights the relevance of information provision on pecuniary and non-pecuniary labor market returns for postgraduate study decisions.