Document Type

Thesis or dissertation

Date of this Version



Judd B. Kessler


Work in education economics has shown that college undergraduates are systematically misinformed about how their choice of major is likely to affect future earnings, even though information about the major-earnings relationship can be obtained at low cost. Information avoidance, a behavioral phenomenon in which an individual is averse to obtaining costless information, could explain this information gap among college undergraduates. We test for information avoidance in a lab experiment in which undergraduate subjects supply their willingness to pay for information about the major-earnings relationship. We find that a material amount of subjects are willing to pay to avoid the earnings information, and that the rate of information avoidance decreases with respect to the instrumental value of the information.


education investment, information avoidance



Date Posted: 13 November 2019


To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.