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Empowering parents to improve education: Evidence from rural Mexico


  • Gertler, Paul J.
  • Patrinos, Harry Anthony
  • Rubio-Codina, Marta


We examine a very inexpensive program in Mexico that involves parents directly in the management of schools located in disadvantaged rural communities. The program, known as AGE, finances parent associations and motivates parental participation by involving them in the management of primary school grants. We find that AGE reduced grade failure by 7.4% and grade repetition by 5.5% in grades 1 through 3. However, while AGE was effective in poor communities, it had no effect in extremely poor communities.

Suggested Citation

  • Gertler, Paul J. & Patrinos, Harry Anthony & Rubio-Codina, Marta, 2012. "Empowering parents to improve education: Evidence from rural Mexico," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 99(1), pages 68-79.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:deveco:v:99:y:2012:i:1:p:68-79 DOI: 10.1016/j.jdeveco.2011.09.004

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    Cited by:

    1. Hanushek, Eric A. & Link, Susanne & Woessmann, Ludger, 2013. "Does school autonomy make sense everywhere? Panel estimates from PISA," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 104(C), pages 212-232.
    2. Bando, Rosangela, 2015. "The effect of cash transfers to schools on voluntary contributions," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 111(C), pages 224-236.
    3. Alejandro J. Ganimian & Richard J. Murnane, 2014. "Improving Educational Outcomes in Developing Countries: Lessons from Rigorous Impact Evaluations," NBER Working Papers 20284, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Fadi Hassan & Paolo Lucchino, 2016. "Powering Education," Natural Field Experiments 00566, The Field Experiments Website.
    5. Patrinos, Harry Anthony & Velez, Eduardo & Wang, Catherine Yan, 2013. "Framework for the reform of education systems and planning for quality," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6701, The World Bank.
    6. De Hoyos Navarro,Rafael E. & Holland,Peter Anthony & Troiano,Sara, 2015. "Understanding the trends in learning outcomes in Argentina, 2000 to 2012," Policy Research Working Paper Series 7518, The World Bank.
    7. Leer, Jane, 2016. "After the Big Bang: Estimating the effects of decentralization on educational outcomes in Indonesia through a difference-in-differences analysis," International Journal of Educational Development, Elsevier, vol. 49(C), pages 80-90.
    8. World Bank Group, 2015. "Governance and Finance Analysis of the Basic Education Sector in Nigeria," World Bank Other Operational Studies 23683, The World Bank.
    9. Menno Pradhan & Daniel Suryadarma & Amanda Beatty & Maisy Wong & Arya Gaduh & Armida Alisjahbana & Rima Prama Artha, 2014. "Improving Educational Quality through Enhancing Community Participation: Results from a Randomized Field Experiment in Indonesia," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 6(2), pages 105-126, April.
    10. Alvarez, Jesus & Moreno, Vicente Garcia & Patrinos, Harry Anthony, 2007. "Institutional effects as determinants of learning outcomes : exploring state variations in Mexico," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4286, The World Bank.
    11. World Bank, 2010. "A Review of the Bulgaria School Autonomy Reforms," World Bank Other Operational Studies 13040, The World Bank.
    12. Francisco H.G. Ferreira & Julian Messina & Jamele Rigolini & Luis-Felipe López-Calva & Maria Ana Lugo & Renos Vakis, 2013. "Economic Mobility and the Rise of the Latin American Middle Class
      [La movilidad económica y el crecimiento de la clase media en América Latina]
      ," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 11858.
    13. -, 2011. "Social Panorama of Latin America 2010," Panorama Social de América Latina, Naciones Unidas Comisión Económica para América Latina y el Caribe (CEPAL), number 1237 edited by Eclac, September.
    14. Santibañez, Lucrecia & Abreu-Lastra, Raúl & O’Donoghue, Jennifer L., 2014. "School based management effects: Resources or governance change? Evidence from Mexico," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 39(C), pages 97-109.
    15. Agüero, Jorge M. & Beleche, Trinidad, 2013. "Test-Mex: Estimating the effects of school year length on student performance in Mexico," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 103(C), pages 353-361.
    16. Sawada, Yasuyuki & Ishii, Takaharu, 2012. "Do Community-Managed Schools Facilitate Social Capital Accumulation? Evidence from the COGES Project in Burkina Faso," Working Papers 42, JICA Research Institute.
    17. Bando, Rosangela, 2015. "The effect of cash transfers to schools on voluntary contributions," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 111(C), pages 224-236.

    More about this item


    School-based management; Impact evaluation; Mexico;

    JEL classification:

    • I20 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - General
    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education
    • I28 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Government Policy


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