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Adam Altmejd - Education & Replication: Essays on the Determinants of College Choice and the Predictability of Lab Experiments

This Ph.D. thesis is a collection of three research articles.

In "Sibling Influence on College Choice" the author studies how preferences for university schooling are affected by the education experience of siblings. An individual is considerably more likely to apply to a specific program if their sibling studies it. The effect is driven by siblings having a preference for going to the same institution. It is twice as strong when both siblings are male, but does not change with neither parental education nor the popularity of the program. A possible explanation is that siblings follow each other out of convenience.

"Relative Returns to Swedish College Fields" is a paper about the economic returns to different college orientations. Even though Sweden has the lowest average college premium in the developed world, differences between fields can be large. Medicine and engineering have returns of over $10,000 per year compared to other fields. Humanities, on the other hand, has a large enough negative payoff that the degree holder likely earns less than those who do not go to university at all. Interestingly, applicants do not seem to care much about low returns when chosing what to study, but instead prioritize non-pucuniary benefits of college education.

"Predicting Replication" covers a completely different topic. In the paper, the author team design a simple machine learning algorithmic that predicts the outcomes of laboratory experiment replications in Psychology and Economics. The model is very accurate, on par with the forecasts of experts. It could be used to make better decisions about which studies to replicate, and thus increase cost-effectiveness of replication efforts.

 

Adam Altmejd holds a B.Sc. in Business and M.Sc. in Economics from Stockholm School of Economics. His main research interests are Behavioral Economics, Empirical Microeconomics and Household Finance.

Adam Altmejd - Education & Replication: Essays on the Determinants of College Choice and the Predictability of Lab Experiments

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