Information disclosure and educational expectations. A regression discontinuity approach

Laura Fumagalli, University of Essex - ISER

Laura Fumagalli

Investment in Children

This paper uses survey and administrative data on English students in secondary schools to investigate how the information students receive about their academic performance a ffects their expectations of applying for a university degree. At the end of year 9, the students’ performance in English, Mathematics and Science is assessed and translated into continuous score measures which are then used to assign each student to a small number of performance levels. We exploit the fact that students receive information on the level achieved in each subject – but not the scores – to investigate the impact on educational expectations of information on individual academic performance. Implementing a regression discontinuity design, we examine whether being assigned to a higher level a ffects a marginal student’s expectations about her participation in further education. We find that being assigned to a level which clearly signals good performance has the e ffect of boosting educational expectations for some subgroups of male students.