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Getting Parents Involved: A Field Experiment in Deprived Schools

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Listed:
  • Francesco Avvisati
  • Marc Gurgand
  • Nina Guyon
  • Eric Maurin

Abstract

This article provides evidence that schools can influence parents' involvement in education, and this has causal effects on pupils' behaviour. Furthermore, it shows how the impact of more involved parents on their children is amplified at the class level by peer group interaction. We build on a large-scale controlled experiment run in a French deprived educational district, where parents of middle-school children were invited to participate in a simple program of parent--school meetings on how to get better involved in their children's education. At the end of the school year, we find that treated families have increased their school-and home-based involvement activities. In turn, pupils of treatment classes have developed more positive behaviour and attitudes in school, notably in terms of truancy and disciplinary sanctions (with effects-size around 15% of a standard deviation). However, test scores did not improve under the intervention. Our results suggest that parents are an input for schooling policies and it is possible to influence important aspects of the schooling process at low cost. Copyright 2014, Oxford University Press.

Suggested Citation

  • Francesco Avvisati & Marc Gurgand & Nina Guyon & Eric Maurin, 2014. "Getting Parents Involved: A Field Experiment in Deprived Schools," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 81(1), pages 57-83.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:restud:v:81:y:2014:i:1:p:57-83
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1093/restud/rdt027
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Petra E. Todd & Kenneth I. Wolpin, 2007. "The Production of Cognitive Achievement in Children: Home, School, and Racial Test Score Gaps," Journal of Human Capital, University of Chicago Press, vol. 1(1), pages 91-136.
    2. Martina Björkman & Jakob Svensson, 2009. "Power to the People: Evidence from a Randomized Field Experiment on Community-Based Monitoring in Uganda," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 124(2), pages 735-769.
    3. Flavio Cunha & James J. Heckman, 2008. "Formulating, Identifying and Estimating the Technology of Cognitive and Noncognitive Skill Formation," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 43(4).
    4. Abhijit V. Banerjee & Rukmini Banerji & Esther Duflo & Rachel Glennerster & Stuti Khemani, 2010. "Pitfalls of Participatory Programs: Evidence from a Randomized Evaluation in Education in India," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 2(1), pages 1-30, February.
    5. Aizer, Anna, 2004. "Home alone: supervision after school and child behavior," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(9-10), pages 1835-1848, August.
    6. Caroline Hoxby, 2000. "Peer Effects in the Classroom: Learning from Gender and Race Variation," NBER Working Papers 7867, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Welsch David M. & Zimmer David M., 2008. "After-School Supervision and Children's Cognitive Achievement," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 8(1), pages 1-27, December.
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education
    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
    • J18 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Public Policy

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