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Freed from Illiteracy? A Closer Look at Venezuela's Misión Robinson Literacy Campaign

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Author Info

  • Daniel Ortega
  • Francisco Rodríguez

Abstract

We evaluate the success of the Venezuelan government's latest nationwide literacy program, Misión Robinson, using official Venezuelan government survey data. Controlling for existing trends in literacy rates by age groups over the period 1975-2005, we find at most a small positive effect of Misión Robinson on literacy rates, and in many specifications the program's impact is statistically indistinguishable from zero. This main result is robust to time series analysis by birth cohort and to state-level difference-in-differences estimation. The results appear to be inconsistent with recent official claims of the complete eradication of illiteracy in Venezuela, but they resonate with existing research on other adult literacy programs, which have usually been expensive failures. (c) 2008 by The University of Chicago. All rights reserved..

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File URL: http://www.journals.uchicago.edu/doi/pdf/10.1086/590461
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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by University of Chicago Press in its journal Economic Development and Cultural Change.

Volume (Year): 57 (2008)
Issue (Month): 1 (October)
Pages: 1-30

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Handle: RePEc:ucp:ecdecc:v:57:y:2008:i:1:p:1-30

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Web page: http://www.journals.uchicago.edu/EDCC/

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Cited by:
  1. Niels-Hugo Blunch & Claus C Pörtner, 2005. "Literacy, Skills and Welfare: Effects of Participation in Adult Literacy Programs," Working Papers UWEC-2005-23-FC, University of Washington, Department of Economics, revised Aug 2009.
  2. Allcott, Hunt & Ortega, Daniel E., 2009. "The performance of decentralized school systems : evidence from Fe y Alegría in Venezuela," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4879, The World Bank.
  3. Arusha Cooray (University of Wollongong), . "Does Colonialism Exert a Long Term Economic Impact on Adult Literacy?," QEH Working Papers qehwps176, Queen Elizabeth House, University of Oxford.

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