John F. Kennedy School of Government
79 JFK Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
Institutional Affiliation: Harvard University
NBER Working Papers and Publications
|October 2014||Behavioral Economics of Education: Progress and Possibilities|
with Adam M. Lavecchia, Philip Oreopoulos: w20609
Behavioral economics attempts to integrate insights from psychology, neuroscience, and sociology in order to better predict individual outcomes and develop more effective policy. While the field has been successfully applied to many areas, education has, so far, received less attention - a surprising oversight, given the field's key interest in long-run decision-making and the propensity of youth to make poor long-run decisions. In this chapter, we review the emerging literature on the behavioral economics of education. We first develop a general framework for thinking about why youth and their parents might not always take full advantage of education opportunities. We then discuss how these behavioral barriers may be preventing some students from improving their long-run welfare. We e...