The Impact of Parental Aspirations on Private School Enrolment: Evidence from Andhra Pradesh, India. Working Paper No. 97

This paper presents an analysis of the role of parental aspirations in determining private school choice in Andhra Pradesh, using quantitative and qualitative data from the Young Lives cohort study over two rounds. Aspirations are measured using a range of indicators of what educational attainment level and future occupational status parents desire for their children. Young Lives find robustly, across all measures of aspirations and different empirical specifications, that parental aspirations have a significant positive impact on the probability that the child is enrolled in a private school. This finding is further supported by qualitative evidence that also suggests that higher parental aspirations for the future situation of their child will lead to higher investment in education because parents perceive education as key to future success. Thus, our findings suggest that parental aspirations are among the demand factors that may explain the recent dramatic increase in private school enrolment in Andhra Pradesh among the poorest groups. This is mainly because parents believe that private schools can provide a better future for their children, which motivates them to make the necessary investment.

Published 2013-07-16

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