Research / Weiss Fund Supported ResearchOct 01, 2020

When Information is Not Enough: Evidence from a Centralized School Choice System

Kehinde F Ajayi, Willa H Friedman, Adrienne M. Lucas

Students often make school choice decisions with inadequate information. We present results from delivering information to randomly selected students (and some randomly selected parents) across 900 junior high schools in Ghana, a country with universal secondary school choice. We provided guidance on application strategies and reported the selectivity and exit exam performance of secondary schools, information students and parents prioritized. We find that despite information changing the characteristics of schools to which students applied and students gaining admission to higher value-added schools, they were not more likely to matriculate on time or at all. Information was not the only constraint.