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Factores de la deserción escolar en Brasil. El papel de la paternidad temprana, la mano de obra infantil y la pobreza

  • Rute Cardoso, Ana

    (Instituto de Análisis Económico (CSIC))

  • Verner, Dorte

    (Banco Mundial, Región de América Latina y el Caribe)

This paper aims to identify the major factors that lead to school abandonment in an urban surrounding, namely, the shantytowns of Fortaleza, northeast Brazil. We use an extensive survey addressing risk factors faced by the population in these neighborhoods, which covered both in-school and out-of-school youth of both genders. The role of early parenthood, child labor, and poverty in pushing teenagers out of school is given particular attention. The potential endogeneity of some of the determinants is dealt with in the empirical analysis. We take advantage of the rich set of variables available and apply an instrumental variables approach. Early parent-hood is instrumented with the age declared by the youngsters as the ideal age to start having sexual relations; work is instrumented using the declared reservation wage (minimum salary acceptable to work). Results indicate that early parenthood has a strong impact in driving teenagers out of school. Extreme poverty is another factor lowering school attendance, as children who have suffered hunger at some point in their lives are less likely to attend school. In this particular urban context, working does not necessarily have a detrimental effect on school attendance, some-thing which could be linked to the fact that dropping out of school leads most often to inactivity rather than to work, given the scarcity of job opportunities; also, liquidity constraints may be relaxed for those whose returns from work enable funding school.// Este artículo tiene el objetivo de identificar los principales factores que conducen a la deserción escolar en un entorno urbano, en concreto las favelas de Fortaleza, al noreste de Brasil. Utilizamos una extensa encuesta centrada en los factores de riesgo a los que se enfrenta la población de estos barrios y dirigida a jóvenes de ambos sexos, tanto escolarizados como no escolarizados. El papel de la paternidad temprana, el trabajo infantil y la pobreza como impulsores de la deserción escolar de los adolescentes es objeto de una particular atención. La endogeneidad potencial de algunos de los factores determinantes se trata en el análisis empírico. Aprovechamos el rico conjunto de variables disponible y aplicamos un método basado en variables instrumentales. Para la paternidad temprana se usa como instrumento la edad declarada por los jóvenes como la edad ideal para empezar a tener relaciones sexuales; para el trabajo se usa como instrumento el salario de reserva declarado (el salario mínimo considerado aceptable para trabajar). Los resultados indican que la paternidad temprana tiene un efecto grande en términos de la no escolarización de los adolescentes. La pobreza extrema es otro factor que disminuye la asistencia a la escuela, ya que los niños que en algún momento de su vida padecen hambre tienen menores probabilidades de asistir al colegio. En este contexto urbano en particular el trabajo no tiene forzosamente un efecto perjudicial en la asistencia al colegio, lo que podría asociarse al hecho de que el abandono escolar lleva con mayor frecuencia a la inactividad y no al trabajo, dada la escasez de oportunidades de empleo; además, las restricciones de liquidez podrían atenuarse para aquellos cuyos ingresos laborales permiten sufragar los gastos escolares.

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Article provided by Fondo de Cultura Económica in its journal El Trimestre Económico.

Volume (Year): LXXVIII (2) (2011)
Issue (Month): 310 (abril-junio)
Pages: 377-402

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Handle: RePEc:elt:journl:v:78:y:2011:i:310:p:377-402
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