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