The Influence of Parents and Peers on Pupils: A Randomized Experiment

Francesco Avvisati, Marc Gurgand, Nina Guyon, Eric Maurin
Paris School of Economics, France

This paper presents a randomized field experiment on schools involving parents in their 11-year old children’s education. An outreach program invited volunteer parents in test classes to be more involved with the education of their children and raised their awareness about the functioning of the school. We evaluate the impacts of this parental support and involvement program in France using a clustered design. At the end of the school-year, we find that treated families effectively increased their school- and home-based involvement activities. The children of families who were directly targeted by the program developed more positive behavior and attitudes in school, and their results improved in French, but not in mathematics. Importantly, for all behavioral outcomes we find large indirect effects of the program on classmates of treated families.

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