Parental aspirations for children’s education: is there a “girl effect”? Experimental evidence from rural Ethiopia

CSAE working paper
Tanguy Bernard
Alemayehu Seyoum Taffesse
Abstract

This paper reports on an experiment with poor rural households in Ethiopia, which aimed to boost aspirations for a better future through exposure to documentaries featuring local male and female role models. The paper explores effects on parents’ educational aspirations and investment in children’s education. At baseline, educational aspirations are high but biased against girls. At a six-month follow-up, the intervention increased parents’ aspirations for their children’s education and increased enrolment, time spent in school and schooling expenditures. There was no catching up of girls relative to boys. Results are consistent with broader local social norms that value education but disfavour women.