The Curse of Low Aspirations: Remedial Education and Perceived Returns to Education of Roma People
Battaglia, M. and Lebedinski, L.
Year of publication: 2014
Keywords: Aspirations, perceived returns to education, program evaluation
JEL Classification: I25, J13, D04
We examine how a remedial education program for primary school-age children aaffects parental aspirations about their children’s future. Using original survey data we collected in Serbia, we investigate whether expectations on labor market perspectives and educational achievement change as a consequence of exposure to the Roma Teaching Assistant Program. We argue that these changes are likely to occur mainly through a role model mechanism: in the program all the assistants are Roma and from the same social background of the pupils they help. The presence of a person belonging to the same community, who proved to be successful, motivates parents to believe theirchildren can succeed. Our results show that parents of pupils in treated schools expect higher returns to education for their kids. They are also more likely to expect them to achieve a secondary level of education.