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The Effect of Publicly Provided Health Insurance on Academic Performance in Mexico


  • Carlo Alcaraz
  • Daniel Chiquiar
  • María José Orraca
  • Alejandrina Salcedo


In this paper we study the causal effect of a large expansion of publicly provided health insurance on children's academic performance using the case of Mexico. In general, access to free health insurance could improve education outcomes directly by making household members healthier or indirectly by raising the amount of resources available for education expenses. Using a panel of municipalities from 2007 to 2009, we find that the expansion of the Mexican public health insurance program, Seguro Popular, had a positive, statistically significant effect on standardized test scores of primary school children.

Suggested Citation

  • Carlo Alcaraz & Daniel Chiquiar & María José Orraca & Alejandrina Salcedo, 2012. "The Effect of Publicly Provided Health Insurance on Academic Performance in Mexico," Working Papers 2012-10, Banco de México.
  • Handle: RePEc:bdm:wpaper:2012-10

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Jonathan Gruber & Aaron Yelowitz, 1999. "Public Health Insurance and Private Savings," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 107(6), pages 1249-1274, December.
    2. Lance Lochner & Alexander Monge-Naranjo, 2012. "Credit Constraints in Education," Annual Review of Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 4(1), pages 225-256, July.
    3. Harold Alderman & Jere R. Behrman & Victor Lavy & Rekha Menon, 2001. "Child Health and School Enrollment: A Longitudinal Analysis," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 36(1), pages 185-205.
    4. Jessica E. Todd & Paul Winters, 2011. "The Effect of Early Interventions in Health and Nutrition on On-Time School Enrollment: Evidence from the Oportunidades Program in Rural Mexico," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 59(3), pages 549-581.
    5. Edward Miguel & Michael Kremer, 2004. "Worms: Identifying Impacts on Education and Health in the Presence of Treatment Externalities," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 72(1), pages 159-217, January.
    6. Flug, Karnit & Spilimbergo, Antonio & Wachtenheim, Erik, 1998. "Investment in education: do economic volatility and credit constraints matter?," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(2), pages 465-481, April.
    7. Glewwe, Paul & Jacoby, Hanan G. & King, Elizabeth M., 2001. "Early childhood nutrition and academic achievement: a longitudinal analysis," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 81(3), pages 345-368, September.
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    Cited by:

    1. Pedro Paulo Orraca Romano, 2015. "Crime Exposure and Educational Outcomes in Mexico," Working Paper Series 7715, Department of Economics, University of Sussex.

    More about this item


    Health insurance; Public health; Seguro Popular; Mexico; Education; Test scores.;

    JEL classification:

    • I13 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Insurance, Public and Private
    • I15 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health and Economic Development
    • I25 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Education and Economic Development
    • I38 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Government Programs; Provision and Effects of Welfare Programs

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