Nudging Parents to Choose Better Schools: The Importance of School Choice Architecture

Working Paper 65
Publisher: Washington, DC: Mathematica Policy Research
Nov 01, 2018
Steven Glazerman, Ira Nichols-Barrer, Jon Valant, Jesse Chandler, and Alyson Burnett
This study reports on a factorial experiment using Bayesian hierarchical analysis to test the effects of different ways to present school information to low-income parents choosing schools for their children. The study examined the effects of five design factors on knowledge about the schools, attitudes about using the online school chooser tool, and school choice behavior. We found evidence of impacts on each factor on many of these outcomes, with some effects being especially strong or policy relevant. For example, simple design choices, such as  setting the default sort order to academic performance instead of distance from home, could induce parents to choose academically higher performing schools.

In the School Choice Era, Making Shopping for Schools Easier


U.S. Department of Education, Institute of Education Sciences
The Walton Family Foundation

Time Frame


Senior Staff

Ira Nichols-Barrer
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