Parental Absence, After-school Tutoring, and Student Achievement: Experimental Evidence from Rural China
Last registered on January 13, 2020

Pre-Trial

Trial Information
General Information
Title
Parental Absence, After-school Tutoring, and Student Achievement: Experimental Evidence from Rural China
RCT ID
AEARCTR-0005294
Initial registration date
January 13, 2020
Last updated
January 13, 2020 10:25 AM EST
Location(s)
Region
Primary Investigator
Affiliation
Hong Kong Baptist University
Other Primary Investigator(s)
PI Affiliation
The Chinese University of Hong Kong
PI Affiliation
Lingnan University
PI Affiliation
Lingnan University
PI Affiliation
University of Pennsylvania
Additional Trial Information
Status
Completed
Start date
2013-09-01
End date
2014-08-31
Secondary IDs
Abstract
We conduct a randomized control after-school tutoring experiment in rural China where many children are left-behind by both parents and cared by grandparents. These left-behind children are disadvantaged in after-school learning support received at home and also academically lagging behind compared to their counterparts living with parents. We implement the intervention as an after-school peer tutoring program in which high-achieving senior primary school students are recruited to provide high-dosage, one-on-one tutoring to low-achieving junior primary school students. Our aims are to assess the treatment effects of access to this after-school tutoring intervention on household inputs and student achievements, as well as the potential heterogeneity in the treatment effects between children living with and without parents.
External Link(s)
Registration Citation
Citation
Behrman, Jere R. et al. 2020. "Parental Absence, After-school Tutoring, and Student Achievement: Experimental Evidence from Rural China." AEA RCT Registry. January 13. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.5294-1.0.
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Experimental Details
Interventions
Intervention(s)
We implemented the intervention as a peer-tutoring program in which randomly selected high-achieving senior students (4th and 5th graders who scored above their class medians in the baseline test) were paired with randomly selected low-achieving junior students (2nd and 3rd graders who scored below their class medians in the baseline test) of the same primary school to offer one-on-one tutoring after school hours. The intervention lasted 8 months, during which the tutors and tutees met for 45 minutes after school Mondays through Thursday. In each tutorial session, the tutors helped their assigned tutees to finish homework and answered any study questions.
Intervention Start Date
2013-11-01
Intervention End Date
2014-06-30
Primary Outcomes
Primary Outcomes (end points)
The treatment effects of access to the after-school tutoring program on tutees' academic achievements and the potential heterogeneity of the effects between children living with and without parents.
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
Secondary Outcomes
Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Household behavioral responses in home-tutoring inputs to access to the after-school tutoring program and the potential heterogeneity in household behavioral responses between children living with and without parents.
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)
Experimental Design
Experimental Design
The experiment involved 32 primary schools, including 24 schools with multiple classes in each grade (a total of 119 classes in grades 2 & 3) and 8 schools with a single class in each grade (a total of 16 classes in grades 2 & 3). Of the 24 schools with multiple classes in each grade, we randomly assigned half of the classes (a total of 60 classes) to experimental classes and the remaining half to control classes (a total of 59 classes).

We then pooled the 60 randomly selected experimental classes and all the 16 classes in the 8 schools with a single class in each grade together into 76 experimental classes. For each experimental class, we randomly selected 10 low-achieving students (who scored below their class medians in the baseline test) to participate in the after-school tutoring program as tutees, where the remaining unselected low-achieving students from the same classes were assigned as within-class controls. In addition, all low-achieving students from the 59 control classes acted as between-class controls for the subset of tutees from the 60 randomly selected experimental classes.

For each experimental class, we targeted a senior class in grades 4 or 5 to recruit tutors from high-achieving students who scored above their class medians in the baseline test. From each targeted senior class, we randomly selected 10 tutors from the pool of oversubscribed eligible candidates.
Experimental Design Details
Randomization Method
Randomization done in office by a computer.
Randomization Unit
Individual
Was the treatment clustered?
No
Experiment Characteristics
Sample size: planned number of clusters
119 classes, of which 60 classes randomly assigned as experimental classes and 59 classes randomly assigned as control classes.
Sample size: planned number of observations
3484 students from 135 classes in 32 schools
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
760 treated students in the 76 experimental classes;
1184 control students in the 76 experimental classes;
1540 control students in the 59 control classes.
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
0.077 standard deviation in z-scores.
IRB
INSTITUTIONAL REVIEW BOARDS (IRBs)
IRB Name
The Chinese University of Hong Kong Survey and Behavioural Research Ethics Committee
IRB Approval Date
2010-06-01
IRB Approval Number
N/A
Post-Trial
Post Trial Information
Study Withdrawal
Intervention
Is the intervention completed?
Yes
Intervention Completion Date
June 30, 2014, 12:00 AM +00:00
Is data collection complete?
Yes
Data Collection Completion Date
August 31, 2014, 12:00 AM +00:00
Final Sample Size: Number of Clusters (Unit of Randomization)
Individual-level randomization within experimental classes: 1815 students.
Class-level randomization: 119 classes.
Was attrition correlated with treatment status?
Yes
Final Sample Size: Total Number of Observations
3120 students from 135 classes in 32 schools.
Final Sample Size (or Number of Clusters) by Treatment Arms
Class-level randomization: 60 treatment classes, 59 control classes. Individual-level randomization: 703 treated individuals, 1112 within-class controls, 1305 between-class controls.
Data Publication
Data Publication
Is public data available?
No

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Program Files
Program Files
No
Reports and Papers
Preliminary Reports
Relevant Papers