Samuel Berlinski, Matias Busso, Taryn Dinkelman
Abstract: We conducted an experiment in low-income urban schools in Chile to test the effects and behavioral changes triggered by a program that sends attendance, grade, and classroom behavior information to parents via weekly and monthly text messages. Our 18-month intervention raised average math scores by 0.09 of a standard deviation and increased the share of students satisfying attendance requirements for grade promotion by 4.7 percentage points. Treatment effects were larger for students at higher risk of later grade retention and dropout. Our results demonstrate that communicating existing school information to parents frequently can shrink parent-school information gaps and improve school outcomes in a light-touch, scalable, and cost-effective way.