A new GLO Discussion Paper designs a commitment contract for college students and conducts a randomized control trial testing its demand.
GLO Discussion Paper No. 1115, 2022
GLO Fellow Todd Pugatch
Author Abstract: We design a commitment contract for college students, “Study More Tomorrow,” and conduct a randomized control trial testing a model of its demand. The contract commits students to attend peer tutoring if their midterm grade falls below a prespecified threshold. The contract carries a financial penalty for noncompliance, in contrast to other commitment devices for studying tested in the literature. We find demand for the contract, with take-up of 10% among students randomly assigned a contract offer. Contract demand is not higher among students randomly assigned to a lower contract price, plausibly because a lower contract price also means a lower commitment benefit of the contract. Students with the highest perceived utility for peer tutoring have greater demand for commitment, consistent with our model. Contrary to the model’s predictions, we fail to find evidence of increased demand among presentbiased students or among those with higher self-reported tendency to procrastinate. Our results show that college students are willing to pay for study commitment devices. The sources of this demand do not align fully with behavioral theories, however.
Featured image: Mikael-Kristenson-on-Unsplash
Vol. 35, Issue 3, July 2022: Journal of Population Economics (JOPE): 15 articles
Just released: CiteScore of JOPE moves up from 3.9 (2020) to 6.5 (2021)! LINK
Similar, its Impact Factor is now 4.7 (2021) after 2.8 (2020)! LINK
GLO Discussion Papers are research and policy papers of the GLO Network which are widely circulated to encourage discussion. Provided in cooperation with EconStor, a service of the ZBW – Leibniz Information Centre for Economics, GLO Discussion Papers are among others listed in RePEc (see IDEAS, EconPapers). Complete list of all GLO DPs – downloadable for free.
The Global Labor Organization (GLO) is an independent, non-partisan and non-governmental organization that functions as an international network and virtual platform to stimulate global research, debate and collaboration.