IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/bss/wpaper/33.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Educational aspirations and decision-making in a context of poverty. A test of rational choice models in El Salvador

Author

Listed:
  • Martina Jakob
  • Benita Combet

Abstract

Previous research on educational aspirations and educational decision-making has mostly focused on high-income countries and thus on a relatively homogeneous socio-economic context. However, educational decision-making may be sensitive to contextual factors such as economic deprivation, a dysfunctional welfare state or poor access to credit markets - characteristics shared by most low- and middle-income countries. To better understand how economically disadvantaged individuals in developing countries make their educational choices, we conducted a survey based on a random sample with high school students in the rural department Morazán in El Salvador, a lower middle-income country in Latin America. Our results show that regardless of the social background, almost all students aspire to pursue tertiary education, probably due to the high tertiary degree premium in earnings and the high social benefits. However, the lack of possibilities to finance their studies generally prevents the realisation of these aspirations for lower social background students. While in high-income countries, cost factors are not very important in the decision-making process, the burden of costs explains around 45 percent of the social background effect in El Salvador. Other factors such as academic confidence, expected future economic benefits, parental status maintenance wish, individual risk aversion and time discounting preferences play only a minor role.

Suggested Citation

  • Martina Jakob & Benita Combet, 2020. "Educational aspirations and decision-making in a context of poverty. A test of rational choice models in El Salvador," University of Bern Social Sciences Working Papers 33, University of Bern, Department of Social Sciences, revised 01 Aug 2020.
  • Handle: RePEc:bss:wpaper:33
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://repec.sowi.unibe.ch/files/wp33/JakobCombet2020_WPV2.pdf
    File Function: Revised version
    Download Restriction: no

    File URL: http://repec.sowi.unibe.ch/files/wp33/JakobCombet2020_WorkingPaper.pdf
    File Function: First version
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Baez, Javier E. & Camacho, Adriana, 2011. "Assessing the Long-term Effects of Conditional Cash Transfers on Human Capital: Evidence from Colombia," IZA Discussion Papers 5751, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    2. Kilburn, Kelly & Handa, Sudhanshu & Angeles, Gustavo & Mvula, Peter & Tsoka, Maxton, 2017. "Short-term impacts of an unconditional cash transfer program on child schooling: Experimental evidence from Malawi," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 59(C), pages 63-80.
    3. Ulrich Kohler, 2011. "Comparing coefficients between nested nonlinear probability models," German Stata Users' Group Meetings 2011 08, Stata Users Group.
    4. Ben Jann, 2017. "Customizing Stata graphs made easy," University of Bern Social Sciences Working Papers 29, University of Bern, Department of Social Sciences, revised 18 Apr 2017.
    5. Gary S. Becker, 1962. "Investment in Human Capital: A Theoretical Analysis," NBER Chapters, in: Investment in Human Beings, pages 9-49, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Ben Jann, 2007. "Making regression tables simplified," Stata Journal, StataCorp LP, vol. 7(2), pages 227-244, June.
    7. Lanjouw, Peter, 2001. "Nonfarm Employment and Poverty in Rural El Salvador," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 29(3), pages 529-547, March.
    8. Kahneman, Daniel & Tversky, Amos, 1979. "Prospect Theory: An Analysis of Decision under Risk," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(2), pages 263-291, March.
    9. Ben Jann, 2018. "Customizing Stata graphs made even easier," University of Bern Social Sciences Working Papers 30, University of Bern, Department of Social Sciences.
    10. Ben Jann, 2018. "Customizing Stata graphs made easy (part 1)," Stata Journal, StataCorp LP, vol. 18(3), pages 491-502, September.
    11. Ben Jann, 2014. "A new command for plotting regression coefficients and other estimates," German Stata Users' Group Meetings 2014 09, Stata Users Group.
    12. Eskil Heinesen & Richard Davies & Anders Holm, 2002. "The relative risk aversion hypothesis of educational choice," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 15(4), pages 683-713.
    13. Ben Jann, 2008. "The Blinder–Oaxaca decomposition for linear regression models," Stata Journal, StataCorp LP, vol. 8(4), pages 453-479, December.
    14. Deon Filmer & Lant Pritchett, 1999. "The Effect of Household Wealth on Educational Attainment: Evidence from 35 Countries," Population and Development Review, The Population Council, Inc., vol. 25(1), pages 85-120, March.
    15. Ben Jann, 2018. "Customizing Stata graphs made easy (part 2)," Stata Journal, StataCorp LP, vol. 18(4), pages 786-802, December.
    16. Paul Schultz, T., 2004. "School subsidies for the poor: evaluating the Mexican Progresa poverty program," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 74(1), pages 199-250, June.
    17. Bashir, Sajitha & Luque, Javier, 2012. "Equity in tertiary education in Central America : an overview," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6180, The World Bank.
    18. Ben Jann, 2014. "Plotting regression coefficients and other estimates," Stata Journal, StataCorp LP, vol. 14(4), pages 708-737, December.
    19. Oaxaca, Ronald L. & Ransom, Michael R., 1994. "On discrimination and the decomposition of wage differentials," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 61(1), pages 5-21, March.
    20. Ulrich Kohler & Kristian Bernt Karlson & Anders Holm, 2011. "Comparing coefficients of nested nonlinear probability models," Stata Journal, StataCorp LP, vol. 11(3), pages 420-438, September.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Jakob, Martina & Combet, Benita, 2020. "Educational aspirations and decision-making in a context of poverty. A test of rational choice models in El Salvador," SocArXiv w9bkq, Center for Open Science.
    2. Diriwaechter, Patric & Shvartsman, Elena, 2018. "The anticipation and adaptation effects of intra- and interpersonal wage changes on job satisfaction," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 146(C), pages 116-140.
    3. Peter John Robinson & W.J. Wouter Botzen & Howard Kunreuther & Shereen J. Chaudhry, 2020. "Default Options and Insurance Demand," NBER Working Papers 27381, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Robinson, Peter John & Botzen, W. J. Wouter & Kunreuther, Howard & Chaudhry, Shereen J., 2021. "Default options and insurance demand," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 183(C), pages 39-56.
    5. Roman Hoffmann & Sebastian Uljas Lutz, 2019. "The health knowledge mechanism: evidence on the link between education and health lifestyle in the Philippines," The European Journal of Health Economics, Springer;Deutsche Gesellschaft für Gesundheitsökonomie (DGGÖ), vol. 20(1), pages 27-43, February.
    6. Tim Butcher & Karen Mumford & Peter N. Smith, 2019. "The Gender Earnings Gap in British Workplaces: A Knowledge Exchange Report," Discussion Papers 19/10, Department of Economics, University of York.
    7. Marco Caliendo & Frank M. Fossen & Alexander Kritikos & Miriam Wetter, 2015. "The Gender Gap in Entrepreneurship: Not just a Matter of Personality," CESifo Economic Studies, CESifo, vol. 61(1), pages 202-238.
    8. Christian Grund & Dirk Sliwka, 2007. "Reference-Dependent Preferences and the Impact of Wage Increases on Job Satisfaction: Theory and Evidence," Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics (JITE), Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 163(2), pages 313-335, June.
    9. Edmonds, Eric V., 2008. "Child Labor," Handbook of Development Economics, in: T. Paul Schultz & John A. Strauss (ed.), Handbook of Development Economics, edition 1, volume 4, chapter 57, pages 3607-3709, Elsevier.
    10. Cowan, Benjamin & Schwab, Benjamin, 2016. "Employer-sponsored health insurance and the gender wage gap," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 45(C), pages 103-114.
    11. Damgaard, Mette Trier & Nielsen, Helena Skyt, 2018. "Nudging in education," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 64(C), pages 313-342.
    12. Grund, Christian & Sliwka, Dirk, 2001. "The Impact of Wage Increases on Job Satisfaction - Empirical Evidence and Theoretical Implications," IZA Discussion Papers 387, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    13. Adam Pilny, 2017. "Explaining Differentials in Subsidy Levels Among Hospital Ownership Types in Germany," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 26(5), pages 566-581, May.
    14. Ferry Prasetyia, 2019. "The role of local government policy on secondary school enrolment decision in Indonesia," Eurasian Economic Review, Springer;Eurasia Business and Economics Society, vol. 9(2), pages 139-172, June.
    15. Adongo, Jonathan O., 2017. "Legal jurisdiction, director liability law, and venture capitalists’ equity stakes in Africa," Research in International Business and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 40(C), pages 78-93.
    16. Niels-Hugo Blunch, 2015. "Bound to lose, bound to win? The financial crisis and the informal-formal sector earnings gap in Serbia," IZA Journal of Labor & Development, Springer;Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit GmbH (IZA), vol. 4(1), pages 1-34, December.
    17. Meghaan R. Lurtz & Derek T. Tharp & Katherine S. Mielitz & Michael Kitces & D. Allen Ammerman, 2020. "Decomposing the Gender Divorce Gap Among Personal Financial Planners," Journal of Family and Economic Issues, Springer, vol. 41(1), pages 19-36, March.
    18. A. Lee Hannah & Danielle Christine Rhubart, 2020. "Teacher perceptions of state standards and climate change pedagogy: opportunities and barriers for implementing consensus-informed instruction on climate change," Climatic Change, Springer, vol. 158(3), pages 377-392, February.
    19. Femke Roosma & Wim van Oorschot, 2021. "Between hope and fear? Regional and social dividing lines in attitudes towards an EU minimum income scheme," International Journal of Social Welfare, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 30(2), pages 170-181, April.
    20. Graml, Regine & Hagen, Tobias & Ziegler, Yvonne & Khachatryan, Kristine & Herman, Ricky Astrida, 2020. "Lesbische Frauen in der Arbeitswelt: The L-Word in Business," Working Paper Series 15, Frankfurt University of Applied Sciences, Faculty of Business and Law.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    educational aspirations; educational decision-making; rational choice; El Salvador;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • I24 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Education and Inequality
    • I25 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Education and Economic Development

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:bss:wpaper:33. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: . General contact details of provider: http://www.sowi.unibe.ch/ .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Ben Jann (email available below). General contact details of provider: http://www.sowi.unibe.ch/ .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.