Can Provision of Free School Uniforms harm Attendance? Evidence from Ecuador
AbstractTo raise school attendance, many programs in developing countries eliminate orreduce private contributions to education. This paper documents an unintendednegative effect of such programs. Using data from a randomized experiment thatprovides free uniforms to primary school children in Ecuador, we find that the interventionhas a significantly negative impact on attendance. An explanation is thatparents who pay for their children’s uniforms (the control group) feel more committedto the school than parents who got the uniforms for free (the treated) andtherefore encourage their children to attend school. Consistent with this sunk costeffect, we find that the impact is largest shortly after the purchase of the uniform,and during the end-of-year exam period when more is at stake.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Tinbergen Institute in its series Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers with number 10-103/3.
Date of creation: 14 Oct 2010
Date of revision:
Contact details of provider:
Web page: http://www.tinbergen.nl
Uniforms; school attendance; sunk-cost effect; Ecuador;
Other versions of this item:
- Hidalgo, Diana & Onofa, Mercedes & Oosterbeek, Hessel & Ponce, Juan, 2013. "Can provision of free school uniforms harm attendance? Evidence from Ecuador," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 103(C), pages 43-51.
- I22 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Educational Finance; Financial Aid
- I38 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Government Programs; Provision and Effects of Welfare Programs
- O15 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration
- H52 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Government Expenditures and Education
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Duflo, Esther & Glennerster, Rachel & Kremer, Michael, 2007.
"Using Randomization in Development Economics Research: A Toolkit,"
CEPR Discussion Papers
6059, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Duflo, Esther & Glennerster, Rachel & Kremer, Michael, 2008. "Using Randomization in Development Economics Research: A Toolkit," Handbook of Development Economics, Elsevier.
- Esther Duflo & Rachel Glennerster & Michael Kremer, 2006. "Using Randomization in Development Economics Research: A Toolkit," NBER Technical Working Papers 0333, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Hessel Oosterbeek & Juan Ponce & Norbert Schady, 2008.
"The Impact of Cash Transfers on School Enrollment: Evidence from Ecuador,"
Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers
08-037/3, Tinbergen Institute.
- Oosterbeek, Hessel & Ponce, Juan & Schady, Norbert, 2008. "The impact of cash transfers on school enrollment : evidence from Ecuador," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4645, The World Bank.
- repec:dgr:uvatin:2008037 is not listed on IDEAS
- Nava Ashraf & James Berry & Jesse M. Shapiro, 2007.
"Can Higher Prices Stimulate Product Use? Evidence from a Field Experiment in Zambia,"
NBER Working Papers
13247, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Nava Ashraf & James Berry & Jesse M. Shapiro, 2010. "Can Higher Prices Stimulate Product Use? Evidence from a Field Experiment in Zambia," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(5), pages 2383-2413, December.
- Angrist, Joshua & Lavy, Victor, 2002.
"The Effect of High School Matriculation Awards: Evidence from Randomized Trials,"
CEPR Discussion Papers
3827, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Joshua D. Angrist & Victor Lavy, 2002. "The Effect of High School Matriculation Awards: Evidence from Randomized Trials," NBER Working Papers 9389, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Jessica Cohen & Pascaline Dupas, 2010. "Free Distribution or Cost-Sharing? Evidence from a Randomized Malaria Prevention Experiment," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 125(1), pages 1-45, February.
- Arkes, Hal R. & Blumer, Catherine, 1985. "The psychology of sunk cost," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 35(1), pages 124-140, February.
- Hanan G. Jacoby, 2002. "Is There an Intrahousehold "Flypaper Effect"? Evidence From a School Feeding Programme," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 112(476), pages 196-221, January.
- Ketel, Nadine & Linde, Jona & Oosterbeek, Hessel & van der Klaauw, Bas, 2014.
"Tuition fees as a commitment device,"
CEPR Discussion Papers
9862, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Jose Rosero, 2012. "The ABC of Housing Strategies: Are Housing Assistance Programs Effective in Enhancing Children's Well Being?," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 12-074/3, Tinbergen Institute.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Antoine Maartens (+31 626 - 160 892)).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.