Search EdWorkingPapers

Search for EdWorkingPapers here by author, title, or keywords.

When bootstraps aren’t enough: Aspirations, learning, and educational supply

Can families in low-income contexts “pull themselves up by their bootstraps?” In rural Gambia, caregivers with high aspirations for their children, measured before the child starts school, invest substantially more in their children’s education. Despite this, essentially no children are literate or numerate three years later. In contrast, a bundled supply-side intervention administered in these same areas generated large literacy and numeracy gains. Crucially, conditional on receipt of this intervention, high-aspirations children are 25 percent more likely to attain literacy/numeracy than low-aspirations children. We also show how the test score SD metric can mislead when counterfactual learning levels are low.

Aspirations, Education, Poverty, Supply and Demand
Education level
Document Object Identifier (DOI)

EdWorkingPaper suggested citation:

Eble, Alex, and Maya Escueta. (). When bootstraps aren’t enough: Aspirations, learning, and educational supply. (EdWorkingPaper: 21-473). Retrieved from Annenberg Institute at Brown University:

Machine-readable bibliographic record: RIS, BibTeX