Social Capital and Pre-School Participation in Indonesia

Monday, 11 July 2016: 16:12
Location: Hörsaal BIG 2 (Main Building)
Oral Presentation
Tatang MUTTAQIN, University of Groningen/ICS, Netherlands
Marijtje VAN DUIJN, University of Groningen/ICS, Netherlands
Rafael WITTEK, University of Groningen/ICS, Netherlands
Pre-school enrolment has a wide range of beneficial effects on educational outcomes. Consequently, policy makers in many countries actively seek to increase preschool attendance rates, and Indonesia is no exception. At the same time, academic research has consistently shown that children from low-income households or poor communities are underrepresented in preschool. Drawing on social capital theory, we argue that high levels of household and community social capital not only lead to higher preschool enrollment rates, but also temper the negative effects of socio-economic status on preschool attendance. Hypotheses on socio-economic status and social capital effects and their interaction were tested with Indonesian census data, collected in 2009, on 43,879 children, nested in 42,855 households, nested in 14,774 villages. Three dimensions of social capital were measured at both the level of communities and the level of households: association, reciprocity and trust. Multilevel regression analyses confirm the strong negative main effects of low socio-economic status. Preschool attendance is significantly lower for children from low-income, low education households, and for children from poor or rural communities. Also low levels of exposure to modern mass media significantly decrease preschool attendance. We found positive main effects for two of the three social capital measures: household association and community reciprocity increase preschool attendance. Interaction analysis yielded two significant effects. First, trust at household level amplifies the effect of household education on preschool enrolment. Second, reciprocity at household level tempers negative effects of a low income on preschool enrolment. The findings point towards the importance of social capital as a potential buffer for low income households and communities. Policy implications are discussed.