Is Information Enough? Evidence from a Tax Credit Information Experiment with 1,000,000 Students

Abstract

This study examines the effect of information about tax credits for college using a sample of over 1 million students or prospective students in Texas. We sent emails and letters to students that described tax credits for college and tracked college outcomes. We find that for all three of our samples—already enrolled students, students who had previously applied to college but were not currently enrolled, and rising high school seniors—that information about tax credits for college did not affect reenrollment, application, and enrollment respectively. We test whether effects vary according to information frames and find that no treatment arms changed student outcomes. We discuss reasons why we found no effect and insights into what attributes make lowcost information interventions effective. ∗Teachers College, Columbia University. bergman@tc.columbia.edu. The authors would like to thank the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board for providing the data. We also acknowledge funding from JPAL-North America. The conclusions of this research do not necessarily reflect the opinion or official position of the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board. All errors are our own. †Brigham Young University, jeffdenning@byu.edu ‡University of Texas at Austin and NBER, dsmanoli@austin.utexas.edu

8 Figures and Tables

Cite this paper

@inproceedings{Bergman2016IsIE, title={Is Information Enough? Evidence from a Tax Credit Information Experiment with 1,000,000 Students}, author={Peter W Bergman and Jeffrey T. Denning and Dayanand Manoli}, year={2016} }