While impacts of school-based management (SBM), i.e., decentralization of levels of authority to the school level, in less developed countries have been examined in a number of recent academic studies, the results have been mixed. To bridge a gap in the existing literature, at least partially, this paper evaluates the impact of an SBM program in Burkina Faso, in which targeted schools were rolled out randomly over two years. A novelty of this study is that we examine the program's impacts on community-wide outcomes captured by the level of trust in others by student's parents, and their participation in rotating savings and credit associations (ROSCAs). We hypothesize that parents involved in SBM are more likely to participating in ROSCAs through collaboration with other community members in SBM because they foster trust in others, a necessary precondition for development of informal financial arrangements. Using a unique data set collected exclusively for this study we find that, in particular, relatively poor parents involved in SBM were more likely to participate in ROSCAs than other poor parents. These findings contain two important implications: first, our findings are consistent with the view that social capital, strengthened by SBM, plays a critical complementary role in correcting financial market failures in low income economies (Hayami 2009); and, second, impact evaluation of SBM focusing only on student performance may undervalue its overall effects on the whole community, ignoring important spillover effects of SBM.
Keywords: school-based management, rotating savings and credit associations, trust, Burkina Faso