Research Portfolio

How does a mother's education affect the well-being of her children?

A growing body of evidence suggests that parents’ education, particularly mothers’ education, significantly impacts children’s academic performance. Observationally, more educated parents tend to be more involved in their child’s education, have higher expectations, allocate more resources to education, and have more educational materials at home, all of which could potentially support a child’s learning.

But what happens in places like rural India, where most mothers have few, if any, years of schooling, and the majority of mothers are illiterate? Can a more beneficial home environment be cultivated through a simple community-based literacy program? Can teaching mothers who have no formal education how to read or how to support their children’s education improve child learning outcomes?

Learn about the Mother Literacy Project, one of the innovative research programs at MIT's Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL) which works around the globe to determine which interventions really help alleviate poverty.




Photograph: young girl in the J-PAL Mother Literacy Project, India


Mother Literacy Project

Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab
MIT-SHASS Department of Economics