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.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Tinbergen Institute in its series Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers with number 10-103/3.
Date of creation: 14 Oct 2010
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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, 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
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