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The coexistence of Degree-Premium and High-Dropout Rates in the Uruguayan Secondary Education: an Incentives Problem


  • Cid, Alejandro
  • Ferrés, Daniel


Although participation rates in the educational system might look impressive for a Latin American country, educational outputs are not that great. Uruguay is characterized by educational gaps and high drop-out rates in the secondary education. In our work we first explore the returns to schooling in Uruguay. In the course of our analysis, we use quantile regression models that are more suitable than ordinary least squares (OLS) for countries where heterogeneity within the labour force in terms of earnings and the impact of individual characteristics on earnings is significant. In particular we test the hypothesis of the existence of a degree premium for those individuals that complete the secondary education (12 years of education). As we find evidence that allows us to confirm the existence of the degree premium, we make conjectures and present a possible explanation that links the evidence between the existence of degree premium, educational gaps and dropouts. The rationale is that since only the completion of the secondary degree will generate a clear economic benefit, many individuals will exit the educational system as they find difficulties in the transit along the secondary level. In other words, the completion of the entire secondary stage might be seen as a long haul race and Uruguayan youngsters end up exiting the process when they are still far from the end. To cope with the estimation problem of unobservable household or children characteristics, this investigation employs an instrumental variable (IV) strategy both for two-stage least squares (TSLS) and quantile regression (QTE).

Suggested Citation

  • Cid, Alejandro & Ferrés, Daniel, 2010. "The coexistence of Degree-Premium and High-Dropout Rates in the Uruguayan Secondary Education: an Incentives Problem," MPRA Paper 39912, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:39912

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Alberto Abadie & Joshua Angrist & Guido Imbens, 2002. "Instrumental Variables Estimates of the Effect of Subsidized Training on the Quantiles of Trainee Earnings," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 70(1), pages 91-117, January.
    2. Berlinski, Samuel & Galiani, Sebastian & Manacorda, Marco, 2008. "Giving children a better start: Preschool attendance and school-age profiles," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(5-6), pages 1416-1440, June.
    3. Markus Frolich & Blaise Melly, 2010. "Estimation of quantile treatment effects with Stata," Stata Journal, StataCorp LP, vol. 10(3), pages 423-457, September.
    4. Omar Arias & Walter Sosa-Escudero & Kevin F. Hallock, 2001. "Individual heterogeneity in the returns to schooling: instrumental variables quantile regression using twins data," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 26(1), pages 7-40.
    5. Koenker,Roger, 2005. "Quantile Regression," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521845731, April.
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    More about this item


    returns to schooling; education; instrumental variables; quantile regression;

    JEL classification:

    • H52 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Government Expenditures and Education


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