The Federal Reserve Bank of New York works to promote sound and well-functioning financial systems and markets through its provision of industry and payment services, advancement of infrastructure reform in key markets and training and educational support to international institutions.
The Outreach and Education function engages, empowers and educates the Second District communities that the Bank serves, especially civic leaders, students, educators, small business owners, policymakers and the general public. It furthers the Bank's commitment to the region by listening to the communities we serve and leveraging our unique attributes to positively impact school and university programs, as well as analysis and research.
This paper investigates how college students update their future earnings beliefs using a unique “information” experiment: We provide college students true information about the population distribution of earnings, and observe how this information causes them to update their future earnings beliefs. We show that college students are substantially misinformed about population earnings, logically revise their self-earnings beliefs, and have larger revisions when the information is more specific and is “good” news. We classify the updating behaviors observed and find that the majority of students are non-Bayesian updaters. While the average welfare gains from our information provision are positive, we show that counterfactually imposing Bayesian processing of information vastly overestimates the gains from the intervention. Finally, we present evidence that our intervention has long-lasting effects on students’ earnings beliefs.