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Using a Social Experiment to Validate a Dynamic Behavioral Model of Child Schooling and Fertility: Assessing the Impact of a School Subsidy Program in Mexico

  • Petra Todd

    ()

    (Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania)

  • Kenneth I. Wolpin

    ()

    (Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania)

This paper studies the performance of a methodology that can be used to evaluate the impact of new policies that radically depart from existing ones. It uses data gathered from a randomized schooling subsidy experiment in Mexico (i) to estimate and validate a dynamic behavioral model of parental decisions about fertility and child schooling, (ii) to forecast long-term program impacts that extend beyond the life of the experiment, and (iii) to assess the impact of a variety of counterfactual policies. The behavioral model is estimated using data on families in the randomized-out control group and in the treatment group prior to the experiment, both of which did not receive any subsidy. Child wages provide a valuable source of variation in the data for identifying subsidy effects. Using the estimated model, we predict the effects of school subsidies according to the schedule that was implemented under the Mexican PROGRESA program.

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File URL: http://economics.sas.upenn.edu/system/files/working-papers/03-022.pdf
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Paper provided by Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania in its series PIER Working Paper Archive with number 03-022.

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Length: 62 pages
Date of creation: 01 Apr 2002
Date of revision: 01 Sep 2003
Handle: RePEc:pen:papers:03-022
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  1. Schultz, T. Paul, 2001. "School subsidies for the poor," FCND briefs 102, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  2. Manski, Charles F, 1999. "Analysis of Choice Expectations in Incomplete Scenarios," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 19(1-3), pages 49-66, December.
  3. Behrman, Jere R & Sengupta, Piyali & Todd, Petra, 2005. "Progressing through PROGRESA: An Impact Assessment of a School Subsidy Experiment in Rural Mexico," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 54(1), pages 237-75, October.
  4. Hotz, V.J. & Miller, R.A., 1991. "Conditional Choice Probabilities and the Estimation of Dynamic Models," GSIA Working Papers 1992-12, Carnegie Mellon University, Tepper School of Business.
  5. Stinebrickner, Todd R, 2001. "Compensation Policies and Teacher Decisions," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 42(3), pages 751-79, August.
  6. Lise, Jeremy & Seitz, Shannon & Smith, Jeffrey A., 2003. "Equilibrium Policy Experiments and the Evaluation of Social Programs," IZA Discussion Papers 758, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  7. Robin L. Lumsdaine & James H. Stock & David A. Wise, 1992. "Pension Plan Provisions and Retirement: Men & Women, Medicare, and Models," NBER Working Papers 4201, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Hidehiko Ichimura & Christopher Taber, 2002. "Semiparametric Reduced-Form Estimation of Tuition Subsidies," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(2), pages 286-292, May.
  9. McFadden, Daniel, 1989. "A Method of Simulated Moments for Estimation of Discrete Response Models without Numerical Integration," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 57(5), pages 995-1026, September.
  10. Michael P. Keane & Kenneth Wolpin, . "Eliminating Race Differences in School Attainment and Labor Market Success," CARESS Working Papres 97-5, University of Pennsylvania Center for Analytic Research and Economics in the Social Sciences.
  11. Zvi Eckstein & Kenneth I. Wolpin, 1999. "Why Youths Drop Out of High School: The Impact of Preferences, Opportunities, and Abilities," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 67(6), pages 1295-1340, November.
  12. James L. Heckman, 1999. "Causal Parameters and Policy Analysis in Economcs: A Twentieth Century Retrospective," NBER Working Papers 7333, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Michael P. Keane & Kenneth I. Wolpin, 1994. "The solution and estimation of discrete choice dynamic programming models by simulation and interpolation: Monte Carlo evidence," Staff Report 181, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  14. Heckman, James J & Ichimura, Hidehiko & Todd, Petra E, 1997. "Matching as an Econometric Evaluation Estimator: Evidence from Evaluating a Job Training Programme," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 64(4), pages 605-54, October.
  15. Keane, Michael P & Wolpin, Kenneth I, 2001. "The Effect of Parental Transfers and Borrowing Constraints on Educational Attainment," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 42(4), pages 1051-1103, November.
  16. Wolpin, Kenneth I, 1996. "Public-Policy Uses of Discrete-Choice Dynamic Programming Models," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(2), pages 427-32, May.
  17. Michael P. Keane & Kenneth I. Wolpin, 1995. "The career decisions of young men," Working Papers 559, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  18. LaLonde, Robert J, 1986. "Evaluating the Econometric Evaluations of Training Programs with Experimental Data," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(4), pages 604-20, September.
  19. Behrman, Jere R & Pollak, Robert A & Taubman, Paul, 1986. "Do Parents Favor Boys?," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 27(1), pages 33-54, February.
  20. Rosenzweig, Mark R & Wolpin, Kenneth I, 1980. "Testing the Quantity-Quality Fertility Model: The Use of Twins as a Natural Experiment," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 48(1), pages 227-40, January.
  21. Willis, Robert J, 1973. "A New Approach to the Economic Theory of Fertility Behavior," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 81(2), pages S14-64, Part II, .
  22. Heckman, James & Singer, Burton, 1984. "A Method for Minimizing the Impact of Distributional Assumptions in Econometric Models for Duration Data," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 52(2), pages 271-320, March.
  23. Becker, Gary S & Lewis, H Gregg, 1973. "On the Interaction between the Quantity and Quality of Children," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 81(2), pages S279-88, Part II, .
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