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Camille Terrier (Queen Mary University of London) – “Condence and College Applications: Evidence from a Randomized Intervention”

September 12 @ 12:15 pm - 1:30 pm

Applied Micro Seminar : Every Tuesday
Time: 12:15 pm – 13:30 pm
Date: 12th of September
Room : 3001


Camille Terrier (Queen Mary University of London) – Condence and College Applications: Evidence from a Randomized Intervention


Abstract :

This paper investigates the role played by self-condence in college applications.
Using incentivized experiments, we measure the self-condence of more than 2,000
students applying to colleges in France. The best female and low-SES students
signicantly underestimate their rank in the grade distribution compared to male and
high-SES students. By matching our survey data with administrative data on real
college applications and admissions, we show that miscalibrated condence aects
college choice controlling for grades. We then estimate the impact of a randomized
intervention that corrects students’ under- and overcondence by informing them of
their real rank in the grade distribution. The intervention fully osets the impact of
under- and overcondence for college applications. Providing feedback also makes the
best students, who were initially undercondent, apply to more ambitious programs
with stronger eects for female and low-SES students. Among top students, our
intervention closes 72% of the gender gap in admissions to elite programs, and 95%
of the social gap.




Benoît SCHMUTZ (Pôle d’économie du CREST)
Clément MALGOUYRES (Pôle d’économie du CREST)