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How Changing a Form Can Change People’s Lives

Oct. 8 (Bloomberg) -- In this period of political dysfunction, we could use some good news. Fortunately, there is some. Small reforms, costing little, can have a major effect on people’s lives.

Consider the area of education. Low-income students are less likely to apply to selective colleges than their high-income peers. That’s a big problem, because students who attend selective colleges can obtain significant economic returns, and those returns are especially large for low-income students. What might be done to encourage them to apply? Research by Harvard University economist Amanda Pallais provides some intriguing answers.