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Education Attainment in Brazil: The Experience of FUNDEF

  • Luiz de Mello
  • Mombert Hoppe

For many years, Brazil lagged behind other middle-income countries in terms of school enrolment rates. But since 1998 policies have aimed at bridging this gap, in particular, with the implementation of FUNDEF, a fund for financing sub-national spending on primary and lower-secondary education. Using state- and municipality-level data during 1991-2002, this paper shows that FUNDEF played a key role in the increase in enrolment rates over the period, particularly in small municipalities, which rely more heavily on transfers from higher levels of government as a source of revenue. These findings underscore the importance of FUNDEF in eliminating supply constraints to the improvement of education attainment. Enrolment rates are now nearly universal for primary and lower-secondary education. Emphasis should therefore be placed on policies to improve the quality of services and to remove supply constraints to the expansion of enrolment in upper-secondary and tertiary education. Les taux d'inscription scolaire au Brésil : L'expérience de FUNDEF Pendant de nombreuses années, les taux d'inscription scolaire au Brésil sont restés derrière ceux des pays à revenu moyen. Mais depuis 1998 des politiques ont visé à réduire cet écart, en particulier, avec la mise en place de FUNDEF, un fonds pour financer la dépense de l'éducation du primaire et du premier cycle du secondaire au niveau local. En utilisant des données au niveau des états et des municipalités de 1991 à 2002, cet article montre que FUNDEF a joué un rôle majeur dans l'augmentation des taux d'inscription au cours de la période, en particulier dans les petites municipalités, qui dépendent plus fortement des transferts à partir des niveaux plus élevés d’administration comme source de revenu. Ces résultats soulignent l'importance de FUNDEF en éliminant les contraintes d’offre liées à l'amélioration des résultats d'éducation. Les taux d'inscription sont maintenant presque universels pour l'éducation du primaire et du premier cycle du secondaire. L'accent devrait donc être mis sur des politiques pour améliorer la qualité des services et pour enlever des contraintes d’offre sur l'expansion de l'inscription dans l'enseignement du deuxième cycle du secondaire et du tertiaire.

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Paper provided by OECD Publishing in its series OECD Economics Department Working Papers with number 424.

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Date of creation: 04 Apr 2005
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:oec:ecoaaa:424-en
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