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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. 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.
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  3. Jeremy Lise & Shannon Seitz & Jeffrey Smith, 2003. "Equilibrium Policy Experiments and the Evaluation of Social Programs," Working Papers 1012, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
  4. Keane, Michael P & Wolpin, Kenneth I, 2000. "Eliminating Race Differences in School Attainment and Labor Market Success," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 18(4), pages 614-52, October.
  5. 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.
  6. Schultz, T. Paul, 2001. "School subsidies for the poor," FCND discussion papers 102, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  7. 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.
  8. Hotz, V Joseph & Miller, Robert A, 1993. "Conditional Choice Probabilities and the Estimation of Dynamic Models," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 60(3), pages 497-529, July.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. 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, .
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
  16. 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.
  17. James J. Heckman, 2000. "Causal Parameters And Policy Analysis In Economics: A Twentieth Century Retrospective," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 115(1), pages 45-97, February.
  18. 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, .
  19. 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.
  20. Michael P. Keane & Kenneth I. Wolpin, 1995. "The career decisions of young men," Working Papers 559, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  21. Hidehiko Ichimura & Christopher Taber, 2002. "Semiparametric reduced form estimation of tuition subsidies," CeMMAP working papers CWP01/02, Centre for Microdata Methods and Practice, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  22. 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.
  23. 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.
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