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Is parental involvement lower at larger schools?

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  • Walsh, Patrick

Abstract

Parents who volunteer, or who lobby for improvements in school quality, are generally seen as providing a school-wide public good. If so, straightforward public-good theory predicts that free-riding will reduce average involvement at larger schools. This study uses longitudinal data to follow families over time, as their children move from middle schools to high schools, thus netting out unobservable differences among families. Increases in school size result in significant reductions in parental involvement, although the magnitude of the effect is small. If parents experience a doubling in school size, they are 2 percentage points less likely to increase their contacts with the school, and 5 percentage points less likely to increase their volunteering. A continuous-treatment propensity-score method tests whether the results are driven by selection into treatment. The parental contact results are robust to this test, while the volunteer results are not. Also, there is some evidence that parents see their involvement as a substitute, rather than a complement, for perceived school quality.

Suggested Citation

  • Walsh, Patrick, 2010. "Is parental involvement lower at larger schools?," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 29(6), pages 959-970, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ecoedu:v:29:y:2010:i:6:p:959-970
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. repec:ags:stataj:122599 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Suet-ling Pong & Lingxin Hao & Erica Gardner, 2005. "The Roles of Parenting Styles and Social Capital in the School Performance of Immigrant Asian and Hispanic Adolescents," Social Science Quarterly, Southwestern Social Science Association, vol. 86(4), pages 928-950.
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    8. Datar, Ashlesha & Mason, Bryce, 2008. "Do reductions in class size "crowd out" parental investment in education?," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 27(6), pages 712-723, December.
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    Cited by:

    1. Tom Coupe & Anna Olefir & Juan Diego Alonso, 2011. "Is Optimization an Opportunity? An Assessment of the Impact of Class Size and School Size on the Performance of Ukrainian Secondary Schools," Discussion Papers 44, Kyiv School of Economics.
    2. Humlum, Maria Knoth & Smith, Nina, 2015. "Long-term effects of school size on students’ outcomes," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 45(C), pages 28-43.
    3. Ferreyra, Maria Marta & Liang, Pierre Jinghong, 2012. "Information asymmetry and equilibrium monitoring in education," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 96(1), pages 237-254.
    4. Han, Kwideok & Whitacre, Brian E., 2018. "Student Performance and School Size: A Two-stage Spatial Quantile Regression Approach to Evaluate Oklahoma High Schools," 2018 Annual Meeting, February 2-6, 2018, Jacksonville, Florida 266597, Southern Agricultural Economics Association.
    5. Eren, Ozkan & Henderson, Daniel J., 2011. "Are we wasting our children's time by giving them more homework?," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 30(5), pages 950-961, October.
    6. repec:eee:cysrev:v:82:y:2017:i:c:p:195-206 is not listed on IDEAS

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