Education, Decision Making, and Economic Rationality


This paper studies the causal effect of education on decision making. In 1972, England raised its minimum school-leaving age from 15 to 16 for students born after September 1, 1957. An online survey was conducted with 2,700 individuals born in a 36-month window on either side of this date. Participants made 25 incentivized risk choices that allow us to measure multiple dimensions of decision making. Despite the policy having effects on education, educational qualifications, and income, we find no effects of the policy on decision making or decision-making quality.

The full study is available in The Review of Economics and Statistics.