THE EFFECTS OF REDUCING PARENT-CHILD INFORMATION FRICTIONS ON STUDENTS’ ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE: EVIDENCE FROM A FIELD EXPERIMENT
The information friction between parents and students often creates obstacles in parental education. The thesis addresses two specific questions. (1) What is the effect of reducing information frictions on students’ performance? (2) What is the mechanism that drives parents’ and students’ behavioral change? A school in Shenzhen, China, provided relevant data. Parents of a sample of 250 students were selected to receive information about students’ performance at school. Teachers of the treatment group sent a message about students’ behavior at school to their parents every two weeks. Parents of students in the control group did not receive the additional reports. The data made available for this thesis project include (1) the substance of all reports to parents of students in the treatment group; (2) exam scores of all students in both the treatment and control groups; and (3) for the treatment group, information about parents’ beliefs, at the start of the experiment, concerning their children’s performance, about the methods parents adopted in order to improve their children’s performance, and about the students’ attitudes. The Difference in Differences estimation method is used to evaluate the effects of the treatment. The results, however, are contrary to expectations, in that provision of more feedback to parents is associated with lower test scores. Upward ‘belief bias’ (parents having unrealistically favorable beliefs about their children’s behavior in school) appears to explain this counterintuitive result.
Dillon, Brian; Wallace, Jeremy
M.A., Asian Studies
Master of Arts
dissertation or thesis