IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/tin/wpaper/20100103.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Can Provision of Free School Uniforms harm Attendance? Evidence from Ecuador

Author

Listed:
  • Diana Hidalgo

    (University of Amsterdam, and TIER)

  • Mercedes Onofa

    (FLASCO-Ecuador)

  • Hessel Oosterbeek

    (University of Amsterdam)

  • Juan Ponce

    (FLASCO-Ecuador)

Abstract

This discussion paper resulted in an article in the Journal of Development Economics (2013). Volume 103, pages 43-51. To raise school attendance, many programs in developing countries eliminate orreduce private contributions to education. This paper documents an unintendednegative effect of such programs. Using data from a randomized experiment thatprovides free uniforms to primary school children in Ecuador, we find that the interventionhas a significantly negative impact on attendance. An explanation is thatparents who pay for their children’s uniforms (the control group) feel more committedto the school than parents who got the uniforms for free (the treated) andtherefore encourage their children to attend school. Consistent with this sunk costeffect, we find that the impact is largest shortly after the purchase of the uniform,and during the end-of-year exam period when more is at stake.

Suggested Citation

  • Diana Hidalgo & Mercedes Onofa & Hessel Oosterbeek & Juan Ponce, 2010. "Can Provision of Free School Uniforms harm Attendance? Evidence from Ecuador," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 10-103/3, Tinbergen Institute.
  • Handle: RePEc:tin:wpaper:20100103
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://papers.tinbergen.nl/10103.pdf
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Jessica Cohen & Pascaline Dupas, 2008. "Free Distribution or Cost-Sharing? Evidence from a Malaria Prevention Experiment," NBER Working Papers 14406, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Oosterbeek, Hessel & Ponce, Juan & Schady, Norbert, 2008. "The impact of cash transfers on school enrollment : evidence from Ecuador," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4645, The World Bank.
    3. Duflo, Esther & Glennerster, Rachel & Kremer, Michael, 2008. "Using Randomization in Development Economics Research: A Toolkit," Handbook of Development Economics, in: T. Paul Schultz & John A. Strauss (ed.), Handbook of Development Economics, edition 1, volume 4, chapter 61, pages 3895-3962, Elsevier.
    4. Imbens, Guido W & Angrist, Joshua D, 1994. "Identification and Estimation of Local Average Treatment Effects," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 62(2), pages 467-475, March.
    5. Abadie, Alberto, 2003. "Semiparametric instrumental variable estimation of treatment response models," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 113(2), pages 231-263, April.
    6. Nava Ashraf & James Berry & Jesse M. Shapiro, 2010. "Can Higher Prices Stimulate Product Use? Evidence from a Field Experiment in Zambia," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(5), pages 2383-2413, December.
    7. Hanan G. Jacoby, 2002. "Is There an Intrahousehold "Flypaper Effect"? Evidence From a School Feeding Programme," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 112(476), pages 196-221, January.
    8. Joshua D. Angrist & Victor Lavy, 2002. "The Effect of High School Matriculation Awards: Evidence from Randomized Trials," NBER Working Papers 9389, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Jessica Cohen & Pascaline Dupas, 2010. "Free Distribution or Cost-Sharing? Evidence from a Randomized Malaria Prevention Experiment," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 125(1), pages 1-45.
    10. Arkes, Hal R. & Blumer, Catherine, 1985. "The psychology of sunk cost," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 35(1), pages 124-140, February.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Cyril Chalendard, 2016. "Shifting-Profits through Tax Loopholes. Evidence from Ecuador," CESifo Working Paper Series 6240, CESifo.
    2. Ketel, Nadine & Linde, Jona & Oosterbeek, Hessel & van der Klaauw, Bas, 2014. "Tuition Fees as a Commitment Device," IZA Discussion Papers 7951, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    3. Karlan, Dean S. & Linden, Leigh, 2014. "Loose Knots: Strong versus Weak Commitments to Save for Education in Uganda," Center Discussion Papers 162693, Yale University, Economic Growth Center.
    4. Jose Rosero, 2012. "The ABC of Housing Strategies: Are Housing Assistance Programs Effective in Enhancing Children's Well Being?," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 12-074/3, Tinbergen Institute.
    5. De Walque,Damien B. C. M. & Valente,Christine, 2018. "Incentivizing school attendance in the presence of parent-child information frictions," Policy Research Working Paper Series 8476, The World Bank.

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Abhijit V. Banerjee & Esther Duflo, 2009. "The Experimental Approach to Development Economics," Annual Review of Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 1(1), pages 151-178, May.
    2. Ketel, Nadine & Linde, Jona & Oosterbeek, Hessel & van der Klaauw, Bas, 2014. "Tuition fees as a commitment device," CEPR Discussion Papers 9862, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    3. Peters, Jörg & Langbein, Jörg & Roberts, Gareth, 2016. "Policy evaluation, randomized controlled trials, and external validity—A systematic review," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 147(C), pages 51-54.
    4. Teck-Hua Ho & I. P. L. Png & Sadat Reza, 2018. "Sunk Cost Fallacy in Driving the World’s Costliest Cars," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 64(4), pages 1761-1778, April.
    5. Pedro Robalo & Rei S. Sayag, 2012. "Information at a Cost: A Lab Experiment," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 12-143/VII, Tinbergen Institute.
    6. Victor Iajya & Nicola Lacetera & Mario Macis & Robert Slonim, 2012. "The Effects of Information, Social and Economic Incentives on Voluntary Undirected Blood Donations: Evidence from a Randomized Controlled Trial in Argentina," NBER Working Papers 18630, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Michael Grimm & Jörg Peters, 2012. "Improved Cooking Stoves that End up in Smoke?," RWI Positionen, Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, pages 09, 09.
    8. Michael Grimm & Anicet Munyehirwe & Jörg Peters & Maximiliane Sievert, 2015. "A First Step Up the Energy Ladder? Low Cost Solar Kits and Household’s Welfare in Rural Rwanda," Ruhr Economic Papers 0554, Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Universität Dortmund, Universität Duisburg-Essen.
    9. Jacopo Bonan & Stefano Pareglio & Massimo Tavoni, 2014. "Access to Modern Energy: a Review of Impact Evaluations," Working Papers 2014.96, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
    10. repec:zbw:rwipos:052 is not listed on IDEAS
    11. Guido W. Imbens & Jeffrey M. Wooldridge, 2009. "Recent Developments in the Econometrics of Program Evaluation," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 47(1), pages 5-86, March.
    12. Gharad Bryan & Dean Karlan & Jonathan Zinman, 2012. "You Can Pick Your Friends, But You Need to Watch Them: Loan Screening and Enforcement in a Referrals Field Experiment," Working Papers 1009, Economic Growth Center, Yale University.
    13. Raymond P. Guiteras & B. Kelsey Jack, 2014. "Incentives, Selection and Productivity in Labor Markets: Evidence from Rural Malawi," NBER Working Papers 19825, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    14. Michael Grimm & Anicet Munyehirwe & Jörg Peters & Maximiliane Sievert, 2017. "A First Step up the Energy Ladder? Low Cost Solar Kits and Household’s Welfare in Rural Rwanda," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 31(3), pages 631-649.
    15. Paulina Oliva & B. Kelsey Jack & Samuel Bell & Elizabeth Mettetal & Christopher Severen, 2020. "Technology Adoption under Uncertainty: Take-Up and Subsequent Investment in Zambia," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 102(3), pages 617-632, July.
    16. Levine, David & Polimeni, Rachel & Ramage, Ian, 2016. "Insuring health or insuring wealth? An experimental evaluation of health insurance in rural Cambodia," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 119(C), pages 1-15.
    17. Bensch, Gunther & Peters, Jörg, 2012. "A Recipe for Success? Randomized Free Distribution of Improved Cooking Stoves in Senegal," Ruhr Economic Papers 325, RWI - Leibniz-Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-University Bochum, TU Dortmund University, University of Duisburg-Essen.
    18. Greg Fischer & Dean Karlan & Margaret McConnell & Pia Raffler, 2014. "To Charge or Not to Charge: Evidence from a Health Products Experiment in Uganda," Working Papers 1041, Economic Growth Center, Yale University.
    19. Sylvain Chassang & Gerard Padro I Miquel & Erik Snowberg, 2012. "Selective Trials: A Principal-Agent Approach to Randomized Controlled Experiments," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(4), pages 1279-1309, June.
    20. Abhijit V. Banerjee & Esther Duflo, 2010. "Giving Credit Where It Is Due," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 24(3), pages 61-80, Summer.
    21. Ito, Takahiro & Tanaka, Shinsuke, 2018. "Abolishing user fees, fertility choice, and educational attainment," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 130(C), pages 33-44.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Uniforms; school attendance; sunk-cost effect; Ecuador;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • I22 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Educational Finance; Financial Aid
    • I38 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Government Programs; Provision and Effects of Welfare Programs
    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration
    • H52 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Government Expenditures and Education

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:tin:wpaper:20100103. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: . General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/tinbenl.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Tinbergen Office +31 (0)10-4088900 (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/tinbenl.html .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.