Liwen Chen
Bobby Chung
Guanghua Wang

Parents with a special social status generate spillover to children of others. This paper studies the effect of socially influential peer parents on students. Utilizing random classroom assignments of middle schools in China, we explore the effect of parents who are cadres (government officials) on the educational outcome of their children’s classmates. Because cadres in China have a broad local influence on resource allocation, their presence elicits responses from surrounding parents and students. We find that increased exposure to peer parents who are cadres raises a student’s test score. We find suggestive evidence that changes in parental behaviors as plausible channels. Cadre spillover is stronger in rural areas and schools with more government support, consistent with the variation in the local influence of cadres.

Publication Type
Working Paper
File Description
Second version, August 28, 2022
JEL Codes
D91: Intertemporal Consumer Choice; Life Cycle Models and Saving
I25: Education and Economic Development
J62: Job, Occupational, and Intergenerational Mobility; Promotion
O53: Economywide Country Studies: Asia including Middle East
P36: Socialist Institutions and Their Transitions: Consumer Economics; Health; Education and Training: Welfare, Income, Wealth, and Poverty
parental investments
peer parent
early-life development
peer parents