Schools worldwide distribute information to parents about their children’s academic performance. Do frictions prevent parents, particularly low-income parents, from accessing this information to make decisions? A field experiment in Malawi shows that, at baseline, parents’ beliefs about their children’s academic performance are often inaccurate. Providing parents with clear, digestible performance information causes them to update their beliefs and adjust their investments: they increase the school enrollment of their higher-performing children, decrease the enrollment of lower-performing children, and choose educational inputs that are more closely matched to their children’s academic level. Heterogeneity analysis suggests information frictions are worse among the poor.

More Research From These Scholars

BFI Working Paper Jun 5, 2018

Parents’ Beliefs About Their Children’s Academic Abilities: Implications for Educational Investments

Rebecca Dizon-Ross
Topics:  K-12 Education
BFI Working Paper Jul 11, 2017

Governance and the effectiveness of public health subsidies: Evidence from Ghana, Kenya and Uganda

Rebecca Dizon-Ross, Pascaline Dupas, Jonathan Robinson
Topics:  Healthcare, Economic Mobility & Poverty
BFI Working Paper Jun 5, 2018

How Does School Accountability Affect Teachers? Evidence from New York City

Rebecca Dizon-Ross
Topics:  Early Childhood Education, K-12 Education, Healthcare