Monday, January 03, 2011

Links 03-1-11

1. Stephen Kinsella Guardian blog piece on Irish growth prospects

2. Becker-Posner blog on use of international test-score comparisons for evaluating school-systems

3. irisheconomy.ie welcomes Estonia to the eurozone

4. NBER Working Paper showing small effects of cash incentives for college performance.

When Opportunity Knocks, Who Answers? New Evidence on College Achievement Awards
Joshua Angrist, Philip Oreopoulos, Tyler Williams
We evaluate the effects of academic achievement awards for first and second-year college students on a Canadian commuter campus. The award scheme offered linear cash incentives for course grades above 70. Awards were paid every term. Program participants also had access to peer advising by upperclassmen. Program engagement appears to have been high but overall treatment effects were small. The intervention increased the number of courses graded above 70 and points earned above 70 for second-year students, but there was no significant effect on overall GPA. Results are somewhat stronger for a subsample that correctly described the program rules. We argue that these results fit in with an emerging picture of mostly modest effects for cash award programs of this type at the post-secondary level.

5. Janet Street-Porter on behavioural economics

6. Martin Hickman on the behavioural insights team. The most read article on the UK Independent site at time of accessing it.

1 comment:

Michael Daly said...

From the Independent article: "One experiment involved Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs (HMRC) secretly changing the wording of tens of thousands of tax letters, leading to the collection of an extra £200m in income tax." - hard not to be impressed with these figures, anchoring recipients to a high social norm for tax repayment (94%) meant that 85% payed rather than 50%, wow!