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Effects on School Enrollment and Performance of a Conditional Transfers Program in Mexico


  • Dubois, Pierre
  • de Janvry, Alain
  • Sadoulet, Elisabeth


We study the effects of a conditional transfers program on school enrollment and performance in Mexico. We provide a theoretical framework for analyzing the dynamic educational decision and process including the endogeneity and uncertainty of performance (passing grades) and the effect of a conditional cash transfer program for children enrolled at school. Careful identification of the program impact on this model is studied. This framework is used to study the Mexican social program Progresa in which a randomized experiment has been implemented and allows us to identify the effect of the conditional cash transfer program on enrollment and performance at school. Using the rules of the conditional program, we can explain the different incentive effects provided. We also derive the formal identifying assumptions needed to provide consistent estimates of the average treatment effects on enrollment and performance at school. We estimate empirically these effects and find that Progresa had always a positive impact on school continuation whereas for performance it had a positive impact at primary school but a negative one at secondary school, a possible consequence of disincentives due to the program termination after the third year of secondary school.

Suggested Citation

  • Dubois, Pierre & de Janvry, Alain & Sadoulet, Elisabeth, 2003. "Effects on School Enrollment and Performance of a Conditional Transfers Program in Mexico," Department of Agricultural & Resource Economics, UC Berkeley, Working Paper Series qt3z1714nj, Department of Agricultural & Resource Economics, UC Berkeley.
  • Handle: RePEc:cdl:agrebk:qt3z1714nj

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Emmanuel Skoufias & Susan Wendy Parker, 2001. "Conditional Cash Transfers and Their Impact on Child Work and Schooling: Evidence from the PROGRESA Program in Mexico," ECONOMIA JOURNAL OF THE LATIN AMERICAN AND CARIBBEAN ECONOMIC ASSOCIATION, ECONOMIA JOURNAL OF THE LATIN AMERICAN AND CARIBBEAN ECONOMIC ASSOCIATION, vol. 0(Fall 2001), pages 45-96, August.
    2. Kiefer, Nicholas M, 1988. "Economic Duration Data and Hazard Functions," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 26(2), pages 646-679, June.
    3. Harold Alderman & Peter F. Orazem & Elizabeth M. Paterno, 2001. "School Quality, School Cost, and the Public/Private School Choices of Low-Income Households in Pakistan," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 36(2), pages 304-326.
    4. Hideo Akabayashi & George Psacharopoulos, 1999. "The trade-off between child labour and human capital formation: A Tanzanian case study," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 35(5), pages 120-140.
    5. Lavy, Victor, 1996. "School supply constraints and children's educational outcomes in rural Ghana," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(2), pages 291-314, December.
    6. Joshua Angrist & Eric Bettinger & Erik Bloom & Elizabeth King & Michael Kremer, 2002. "Vouchers for Private Schooling in Colombia: Evidence from a Randomized Natural Experiment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(5), pages 1535-1558, December.
    7. Tansel, Aysit, 1997. "Schooling Attainment, Parental Education, and Gender in Cote d'Ivoire and Ghana," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 45(4), pages 825-856, July.
    8. Lopez Acevedo, Gladys, 1999. "Learning outcomes and school cost-effectiveness in Mexico : the PARE program," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2128, The World Bank.
    9. David P. Coady & Susan W. Parker, 2004. "Cost-effectiveness Analysis of Demand- and Supply-side Education Interventions: the Case of PROGRESA in Mexico," Review of Development Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 8(3), pages 440-451, August.
    10. 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.
    11. Behrman, Jere R & Knowles, James C, 1999. "Household Income and Child Schooling in Vietnam," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 13(2), pages 211-256, May.
    12. Paul Glewwe & Hanan Jacoby, 1994. "Student Achievement and Schooling Choice in Low-Income Countries: Evidence from Ghana," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 29(3), pages 843-864.
    13. Antoine Bommier & Sylvie Lambert, 2000. "Education Demand and Age at School Enrollment in Tanzania," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 35(1), pages 177-203.
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    Cited by:

    1. Gitter, Seth R. & Barham, Bradford L., 2007. "Credit, Natural Disasters, Coffee, and Educational Attainment in Rural Honduras," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 35(3), pages 498-511, March.

    More about this item


    education demand; schooling decisions; school performance; dynamic decisions; treatment effects; transfer program; randomized experiment; Mexico;

    JEL classification:

    • C14 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General - - - Semiparametric and Nonparametric Methods: General
    • C25 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Discrete Regression and Qualitative Choice Models; Discrete Regressors; Proportions; Probabilities
    • D91 - Microeconomics - - Micro-Based Behavioral Economics - - - Role and Effects of Psychological, Emotional, Social, and Cognitive Factors on Decision Making
    • H52 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Government Expenditures and Education
    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education
    • I28 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Government Policy
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity


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