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Preschool and Parental Response in a Second Best World: Evidence from a School Construction Experiment

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  • Adrien Bouguen

    (PSE - Paris-Jourdan Sciences Economiques - ENS Paris - École normale supérieure - Paris - PSL - Université Paris sciences et lettres - INRA - Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - ENPC - École des Ponts ParisTech - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, PSE - Paris School of Economics - ENPC - École des Ponts ParisTech - ENS Paris - École normale supérieure - Paris - PSL - Université Paris sciences et lettres - UP1 - Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - INRAE - Institut National de Recherche pour l’Agriculture, l’Alimentation et l’Environnement)

  • Deon Filmer

    (Banque Mondiale - Centre de recherche de la Banque Mondiale - Banque Mondiale)

  • Karen Macours

    (PSE - Paris-Jourdan Sciences Economiques - ENS Paris - École normale supérieure - Paris - PSL - Université Paris sciences et lettres - INRA - Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - ENPC - École des Ponts ParisTech - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, PSE - Paris School of Economics - ENPC - École des Ponts ParisTech - ENS Paris - École normale supérieure - Paris - PSL - Université Paris sciences et lettres - UP1 - Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - INRAE - Institut National de Recherche pour l’Agriculture, l’Alimentation et l’Environnement)

  • Sophie Naudeau

    (Banque Mondiale - Centre de recherche de la Banque Mondiale - Banque Mondiale)

Abstract

Interventions targeting early childhood development hold promise for increasing human capital and reducing the intergenerational transmission of poverty. This paper presents results from a randomized evaluation of a preschool construction program in Cambodia, and suggests caution. The overall impact of the program on early childhood outcomes was small and statistically insignificant. For the cohort with highest program exposure, the impact on cognitive indicators was negative; with the largest negative effects among children of poorer and less educated parents. The results are consistent with frequent underage enrollment in primary school in the absence of preschools, stricter enforcement of the minimum age for primary school entry after the intervention, substitution between primary and preschool following intervention, and difference in demand responses to the new preschools between more and less educated parents. The results show that contextual and program specifics, and behavioral responses, can potentially lead to perverse effects of programs.

Suggested Citation

  • Adrien Bouguen & Deon Filmer & Karen Macours & Sophie Naudeau, 2014. "Preschool and Parental Response in a Second Best World: Evidence from a School Construction Experiment," PSE Working Papers hal-01090361, HAL.
  • Handle: RePEc:hal:psewpa:hal-01090361
    Note: View the original document on HAL open archive server: https://hal-pjse.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-01090361v2
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Karen Macours & Norbert Schady & Renos Vakis, 2012. "Cash Transfers, Behavioral Changes, and Cognitive Development in Early Childhood: Evidence from a Randomized Experiment," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 4(2), pages 247-273, April.
    2. Norbert Schady & Jere Behrman & Maria Caridad Araujo & Rodrigo Azuero & Raquel Bernal & David Bravo & Florencia Lopez-Boo & Karen Macours & Daniela Marshall & Christina Paxson & Renos Vakis, 2015. "Wealth Gradients in Early Childhood Cognitive Development in Five Latin American Countries," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 50(2), pages 446-463.
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    14. repec:idb:brikps:publication-detail,7101.html?id=32886 is not listed on IDEAS
    15. Karen Macours & Norbert Schady & Renos Vakis, 2012. "Cash Transfers, Behavioral Changes, and Cognitive Development in Early Childhood: Evidence from a Randomized Experiment," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 4(2), pages 247-273, April.
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    Cited by:

    1. Bietenbeck, Jan & Ericsson, Sanna & Wamalwa, Fredrick M., 2019. "Preschool attendance, schooling, and cognitive skills in East Africa," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 73(C).

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    Keywords

    Poverty and inequality; Parental involvement; Preschool and kindergarten; cognitive development;
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