Ashoka University: Leading Liberal Arts and Sciences University

Other links:

Other links:

The Impact of an Adult Literacy Program on the Next Generation: Evidence from India

  • Economics Discussion Papers
  • March 2, 2020
  • Ashwini Deshpande,
  • Ashwini Deshpande, Christopher Ksoll, Annemie Maertens, Vinitha R. Varghese

We use a randomized controlled trial to evaluate the impacts of an adult literacy program, targeting women in rural India, on a broad range of outcomes one year later. We show that the program had significant impacts on multiple aspects of the women’s lives, such as improvements in the women’s health and hygiene practices, as well as increased involvement in their children’s education (but noted no differences in terms of health and educational outcomes of the children). In terms of mechanisms, we find that the program not only increased the women’s literacy and numeracy, but also made the women more knowledgeable, and confident in dealing with people outside their family. We document positive effects on women’s mobility, and some measures of bargaining power, but overall decision-making power appears not to have been affected.

Study at Ashoka

Study at Ashoka