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Getting Parents Involved: A Field Experiment in Deprived Schools

  • Avvisati, Francesco
  • Gurgand, Marc
  • Guyon, Nina
  • Maurin, Eric

This paper presents a randomized field experiment conducted in a set of French middle schools located in a deprived educational district near Paris. Parents in test groups were invited to participate in a simple program of training sessions on how to get better involved in their children’s education. At the end of the school-year, we find that treated families effectively increased their school- and home-based involvement activities. Children of families who were directly targeted by the program developed more positive behavior and attitudes in school, and had less literacy problems. Importantly, for all behavioral outcomes we find large spillover effects of the program on classmates of treated families. This experiment proves that schools are able to increase parents' awareness and that parental inputs have strong effects on pupil behavior. Our results on spillovers demonstrate that similar initiatives can be effective even in case of low parental take-up of the program.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 8020.

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Date of creation: Sep 2010
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:8020
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  1. Aizer, Anna, 2004. "Home alone: supervision after school and child behavior," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(9-10), pages 1835-1848, August.
  2. Caroline Hoxby, 2000. "Peer Effects in the Classroom: Learning from Gender and Race Variation," NBER Working Papers 7867, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Banerjee, Abhijit & Banerji, Rukmini & Duflo, Esther & Glennerster, Rachel & Khemani, Stuti, 2008. "Pitfalls of Participatory Programs: Evidence from a Randomized Evaluation in Education in India," CEPR Discussion Papers 6781, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. 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.
  5. 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).
  6. Petra E. Todd & Kenneth I. Wolpin, 2004. "The Production of Cognitive Achievement in Children: Home, School and Racial Test Score Gaps," PIER Working Paper Archive 04-019, Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania.
  7. 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, MIT Press, vol. 124(2), pages 735-769, May.
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