Family Networks and School Enrolment: Evidence from a Randomized Social Experiment

41 Pages Posted: 13 May 2009 Last revised: 8 May 2022

See all articles by Manuela Angelucci

Manuela Angelucci

University of Arizona - Department of Economics; University of Michigan - Department of Economics; Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA)

Giacomo De Giorgi

University College London; NBER; Federal Reserve Banks - Federal Reserve Bank of New York

Marcos A. Rangel

University of Chicago - Harris School of Public Policy

Imran Rasul

University College London - Department of Economics; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR); IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: May 2009

Abstract

We present evidence on whether and how a household's behavior is influenced by the presence and characteristics of its extended family. Using household panel data from the Progresa program in rural Mexico, we exploit information on the paternal and maternal surnames of heads and spouses in conjunction with the Spanish naming convention to identify the inter and intra generational family links of each household to others in the same village. We then exploit the randomized research design of the Progresa evaluation data to identify whether the treatment effects of Progresa transfers on secondary school enrolment vary according to the presence and characteristics of extended family. We find that Progresa only raises secondary enrolment among households that are embedded in a family network. Eligible but isolated households do not respond. The mechanism through which the extended family influences household schooling choices is the redistribution of resources within the family network from eligibles that receive de facto unconditional cash transfers from Progresa, towards eligibles on the margin of enrolling their children into secondary school.

Suggested Citation

Angelucci, Manuela and Angelucci, Manuela and De Giorgi, Giacomo and Rangel, Marcos A. and Rasul, Imran, Family Networks and School Enrolment: Evidence from a Randomized Social Experiment (May 2009). NBER Working Paper No. w14949, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1401794

Manuela Angelucci (Contact Author)

University of Arizona - Department of Economics ( email )

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Giacomo De Giorgi

University College London ( email )

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Marcos A. Rangel

University of Chicago - Harris School of Public Policy ( email )

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Imran Rasul

University College London - Department of Economics ( email )

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Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

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IZA Institute of Labor Economics

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Germany

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