Girls’ Education, Aspirations, and Social Networks: Evidence from a Randomized Trial in Rural Rajasthan

Clara Delavallade, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI)
Alan Griffith, University of Michigan

In recent years, policymakers have begun to recognize the importance of “soft skills” to a variety of outcomes, especially in the context of girls’ empowerment. By means of a randomized trial involving 30 schools, we measure the causal effects of a life-skills program in the form of a girls’ parliament on soft skills for approximately 1200 young girls in rural Rajasthan. Girls were either elected by their peers to participate, were randomized into the program, or served as controls. We use extensive network data to show selection into the program as well as partial segregation of friend groups between elected and non-elected girls. We find differential effects of the program on measures of aspirations and gender attitudes, depending on the selection mechanisms into the program. We find no evidence of differential network formation due to program participation.

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 Presented in Session P4. Children and Youth/Population and Aging