We examine the impact of a programme designed to raise the psychosocial skills (self-esteem and self-efficacy) and aspirations of children in the slums of Bombay. We use a cross-cutting design with two comparison groups of peers for young adults who have attended the programme until leaving high school to analyse whether, compared to those from a similar environment and background, enrolment in the programme demonstrably raises psychosocial skills. We also use extensive data on parental background and psychosocial skills to construct difference-in-difference estimates that account for for family-level observables and unobservables. This is a non-randomised evaluation: hence, we are cautiously optimistic in our finding of substantial impacts on both self-esteem and self-efficacy, as well as evidence of an impact on aspirations. Furthermore, in line with the literature, both self-esteem and self-efficacy are positively related to success in school-leaving examinations and initial labour market outcomes.
CWPE 1010, 64 pp.