Nicolás Salamanca, Melbourne Institute- Parental Responses to Children’s Achievement Test Results

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Melbourne Institute Seminar

Title: Parental Responses to Children’s Achievement Test Results

Abstract:

We estimate the causal impact of providing parents with objective information about their children’s academic achievement on their child investments. Identification comes from quasi-experimental variation in the timing of the release of national standardized test score reports. The release of these report leads to a 43 percent increase in private tutoring and a 22 percent reduction in extracurricular activities; it has no effect on other parental investments, including parenting style. The release of test reports also leads parents to have more modest perceptions of their child’s school achievement. Using forecasted vs actual score comparisons, we show that the effect on parents’ perceptions is driven by receiving unexpectedly “bad” child test performance news and is also stronger among children attending public schools. Our findings suggest that while test score information might help align parents’ perception of their child’s school achievement, these perceptions are not the key drivers of the effects of test score results on parental investments.

Presenter: Nicolás Salamanca, Melbourne Institute

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