University of Michigan

To explore the relationship between behavioral nudges and intrinsic motivation by conducting field experiments

  • Amount $486,501
  • City Ann Arbor, MI
  • Investigator Brian Jacob
  • Initiative Behavioral and Regulatory Effects on Decision-making (BRED)
  • Year 2015
  • Program Research
  • Sub-program Economic Institutions, Behavior, & Performance

This grant funds research by University of Michigan economist and professor of education Brian Jacob, who has designed a randomized controlled trial to study the effects of behavioral interventions on enrollment in the Teacher Loan Forgiveness (TLF) program. The TLF is a federal initiative that forgives up to $17,500 in student loans to teachers who teach for five years in a school serving students from low-income families.  The complicated, multistage qualification process for the program offers a unique opportunity to test how various interventions might work, by randomly assigning applicants to different groups during the process and subjecting them to slightly different form designs, requirements, defaults, and choice architectures. The TLF thus serves as an excellent opportunity to study how to design federal benefits programs in ways that maximize their uptake. Funds from this grant will support Jacob and his research team as they conduct this two-year study.

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