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How Much Are We Willing To Pay to Send Poor Adolescents to School? Simulating Changes to Mexico`s Oportunidades in Urban Areas

Author

Listed:
  • Viviane Azevedo
  • Cesar Bouillon
  • Patricia Yanez-Pagans

    ()

Abstract

Although Mexico’s Conditional Cash Transfer Program Oportunidades has increased overall school enrollment, many adolescents do not attend school, especially in urban areas. This paper simulates the effects of changes in program design using a simple parametric method based on a simultaneous probability model of school attendance and child labor. The paper also provides alternative non parametric simulation results by extending Todd and Wolpin’s (2006) method to incorporate changes in working hours when attending school. The results indicate that eliminating or reducing school subsidies for primary education and increasing transfer for older students is a cost-effective way to raise overall school enrollment in urban areas. Increasing school attendance of 16-year-olds to 80 percent or more, however, would require a quadrupling of scholarships. This suggests that complementary interventions are needed.

Suggested Citation

  • Viviane Azevedo & Cesar Bouillon & Patricia Yanez-Pagans, 2009. "How Much Are We Willing To Pay to Send Poor Adolescents to School? Simulating Changes to Mexico`s Oportunidades in Urban Areas," Research Department Publications 4631, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.
  • Handle: RePEc:idb:wpaper:4631
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Eric Edmonds, 2007. "Child Labor," Working Papers id:988, eSocialSciences.
    2. de Janvry, Alain & Finan, Frederico & Sadoulet, Elisabeth & Vakis, Renos, 2006. "Can conditional cash transfer programs serve as safety nets in keeping children at school and from working when exposed to shocks?," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, pages 349-373.
    3. Edmonds, Eric V., 2008. "Child Labor," Handbook of Development Economics, Elsevier.
    4. Kruger, Diana I., 2007. "Coffee production effects on child labor and schooling in rural Brazil," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, pages 448-463.
    5. Gary S. Becker & Nigel Tomes, 1994. "Human Capital and the Rise and Fall of Families," NBER Chapters,in: Human Capital: A Theoretical and Empirical Analysis with Special Reference to Education (3rd Edition), pages 257-298 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Edmonds, Eric V., 2006. "Child labor and schooling responses to anticipated income in South Africa," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, pages 386-414.
    7. Kenneth I. Wolpin & Petra E. Todd, 2006. "Assessing the Impact of a School Subsidy Program in Mexico: Using a Social Experiment to Validate a Dynamic Behavioral Model of Child Schooling and Fertility," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, pages 1384-1417.
    8. Duryea, Suzanne & Arends-Kuenning, Mary, 2003. "School Attendance, Child Labor and Local Labor Market Fluctuations in Urban Brazil," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 31(7), pages 1165-1178, July.
    9. Card, David, 1999. "The causal effect of education on earnings," Handbook of Labor Economics,in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 30, pages 1801-1863 Elsevier.
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    11. 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.
    12. Ravallion, Martin & Wodon, Quentin, 2000. "Does Child Labour Displace Schooling? Evidence on Behavioural Responses to an Enrollment Subsidy," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 110(462), pages 158-175, March.
    13. Bedi, Arjun S & Marshall, Jeffrey H, 1999. "School Attendance and Student Achievement: Evidence from Rural Honduras," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 47(3), pages 657-682, April.
    14. Buddelmeyer, Hielke & Skoufias, Emmanuel, 2003. "An Evaluation of the Performance of Regression Discontinuity Design on PROGRESA," IZA Discussion Papers 827, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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    16. FranÁois Bourguignon & Francisco H. G. Ferreira & Phillippe G. Leite, 2003. "Conditional Cash Transfers, Schooling, and Child Labor: Micro-Simulating Brazil's Bolsa Escola Program," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 17(2), pages 229-254, December.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    School attendance and work; Conditional cash transfers; Simulation; Oportunidades;

    JEL classification:

    • I20 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - General
    • J22 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Time Allocation and Labor Supply

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