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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.

Suggested Citation

  • Kenneth I. Wolpin & Petra E. Todd, 2006. "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," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(5), pages 1384-1417, December.
  • 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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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. 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 237-275, October.
    2. Jeffrey Smith & Jeremy Lise & Shannon N. Seitz, 2003. "Equilibrium Policy Experiments And The Evaluation Of Social Programs," Working Paper 1012, Economics Department, Queen's University.
    3. Keane, Michael P & Wolpin, Kenneth I, 2000. "Eliminating Race Differences in School Attainment and Labor Market Success," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 18(4), pages 614-652, October.
    4. McFadden, Daniel, 1989. "A Method of Simulated Moments for Estimation of Discrete Response Models without Numerical Integration," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 57(5), pages 995-1026, September.
    5. 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 648-672, November.
    6. Heckman, James, 2013. "Sample selection bias as a specification error," Applied Econometrics, Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration (RANEPA), vol. 31(3), pages 129-137.
    7. 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.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

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