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Andrew Holt and Joseph McGarrity

Abstract

The Arkansas Advanced Initiative for Math and Science (AAIMS) is program with the goal to increase Advanced Placement (AP) participation and increase the passing rate of AP exams. The program offers monetary incentives and support to students and teachers for one year, effectively creating a natural experiment. This paper exploits the one year treatment to empirically show that the program is effective at increasing a school’s AP participation rate by nudging the schools to increase AP offerings and satisfying a latent student demand for AP classes.

Open access

Jordan Pfaff and P. Joseph McGarrity

Abstract

Using penalty kicks in collegiate soccer matches, we test whether kickers choose where to place shots, and whether goalies choose where to dive in a way that is consistent with optimal mixed strategy play. The previous literature, studying professional soccer players, provides evidence of mixed strategy play in penalty kick scenarios. These results contrast with the evidence obtained in a lab, studying subjects who only play a game a few times and have insignificant monetary payoffs. These lab results find no evidence of mixed strategy play. The contrast between the results obtained from these very different environments makes it unclear which result generalizes to other settings. By studying college athletes, we analyze the middle ground, which is where most strategic decisions will be made. We find that college players employ optimal strategic play in some respects, but not in other respects.