hero working papers

The Evolution of Awareness and Belief Ambiguity During the Process of High School Track Choice

Number: 574
Year: 2016
Author(s): Pamela Giustinelli and Nicola Pavoni
In this article, we provide novel survey evidence on mid schoolers' awareness and ambiguity perceptions and on how such perceptions evolve during the process of high school track choice. Children in our study display partial awareness about the set of available tracks. Additionally, children report substantial belief ambiguity about their likelihood of a regular high school path, especially for lower-ranked tracks. Students start 8th grade with greater information about their favorite alternatives and continue to concentrate their search on the latter during the months before pre-enrollment. Children from less advantaged families display lower initial perceived knowledge and acquire information at a slower pace, particularly about college-preparatory schools.

Keywords: Subjective Beliefs, Learning under Ambiguity and Limited Awareness, School Choice
JEL codes: D83, I24, J24