A primary rationale for public provision of K-12 education and state financing of school spending is that education fosters civic engagement and the development of social capital. However, limited evidence exists on whether and how school spending affects civic engagement.

We provide evidence that the social norm (expectation) of work has a detrimental causal effect on the mental well-being of individuals not able to abide by it.

Increased exposure to gender-role information affects a girl's educational performance. Utilizing the classroom randomization in Chinese middle schools, we find that the increased presence of stay-at-home peer mothers significantly reduces a girl's performance in mathematics.


The Oxford Series on Human Capital and Economic Opportunity will present state-of-the-art research from a variety of perspectives on the problems of opportunity, human flourishing, and public policy. Volumes in the series will be grouped in accordance with these themes and will be based on the work of HCEO members. In some cases, the volumes will contain research first presented at HCEO conferences, and in others will contain specially commissioned research. The series is published by the Oxford University Press.