Effects of Perceived Productivity on Study Effort: Evidence from a Field Experiment

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How does the perceived relationship between effort and achievement affect effort? To answer this question, I conduct a framed field experiment with a popular online learning platform. I exogenously manipulate students’ beliefs about returns to effort by assigning them to a control group or to treatments which provide information about returns to effort. Students update their beliefs towards the information and change their study effort in the same direction with the shifts in their beliefs. This result shows that low-cost information interventions can influence students’ beliefs about returns to effort and these beliefs are important components of their effort choices.


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