I study the effects of education choice using a unique data set of applications to Swedish universities, and identify causal relationships by exploiting lotteries used to break ties in the application process. All projects were pre registered at the OSF before I was given access to the data, to avoid any risks of accidentally exploiting the many degrees of freedom in research design that are available when using a large data set such as this.
Considering its immense, life-changing consequences, our choice of which university education to pursue is often ill-informed, with a negative impact on economic inequality. The data I have collected allows me to causally estimate how siblings aid each other in making informed choices about where and what to study, and how this affects their future earnings. I look at older siblings that are randomly admitted to certain education choices, and evaluate the behavioral response of the younger. When they receive an ``information shock’’ about the program that the older sibling is admitted to, I expect that they are inclined to imitate the choice of the older sibling to the extent that the new information is positive, and then also work harder to actually be admitted. I will study both choice behavior and grades to capture this, estimating how the effect varies with what kind of information is received.