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Assessing the Impact of a School Subsidy Program in Mexico: Using a Social Experiment to Validate a Dynamic Behavioral Model of Child Schooling and Fertility

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  • Kenneth I. Wolpin
  • Petra E. Todd

Abstract

This paper uses data from a randomized social experiment in Mexico to estimate and validate a dynamic behavioral model of parental decisions about fertility and child schooling, to evaluate the effects of the PROGRESA school subsidy program, and to perform a variety of counterfactual experiments of policy alternatives. Our method of validation estimates the model without using post-program data and then compares the model?s predictions about program impacts to the experimental impact estimates. The results show that the model?s predicted program impacts track the experimental results. Our analysis of counterfactual policies reveals an alternative subsidy schedule that would induce a greater impact on average school attainment at similar cost to the existing program.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal American Economic Review.

Volume (Year): 96 (2006)
Issue (Month): 5 (December)
Pages: 1384-1417

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Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:96:y:2006:i:5:p:1384-1417

Note: DOI: 10.1257/aer.96.5.1384
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  1. Jeremy Lise & Shannon Seitz & Jeffrey Smith, 2003. "Equilibrium Policy Experiments and the Evaluation of Social Programs," Working Papers 1012, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
  2. Heckman, James J, 1979. "Sample Selection Bias as a Specification Error," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(1), pages 153-61, January.
  3. Keane, Michael P & Wolpin, Kenneth I, 2001. "The Effect of Parental Transfers and Borrowing Constraints on Educational Attainment," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 42(4), pages 1051-1103, November.
  4. Daniel McFadden, 1987. "A Method of Simulated Moments for Estimation of Discrete Response Models Without Numerical Integration," Working papers 464, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  5. Behrman, Jere R & Sengupta, Piyali & Todd, Petra, 2005. "Progressing through PROGRESA: An Impact Assessment of a School Subsidy Experiment in Rural Mexico," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 54(1), pages 237-75, October.
  6. Michael P. Keane & Kenneth Wolpin, . "Eliminating Race Differences in School Attainment and Labor Market Success," CARESS Working Papres 97-5, University of Pennsylvania Center for Analytic Research and Economics in the Social Sciences.
  7. Keane, Michael P & Wolpin, Kenneth I, 1994. "The Solution and Estimation of Discrete Choice Dynamic Programming Models by Simulation and Interpolation: Monte Carlo Evidence," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 76(4), pages 648-72, November.
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