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Early school dropouts in developing countries: An integer approach to guide intervention. The case of Uruguay


  • Rossana Patrón

    () (Departamento de Economía, Facultad de Ciencias Sociales, Universidad de la Repúblic)


Are early leavers from the education system irrational or ill informed? They might be, but this approach shows that with underperforming education sectors – typical in developing countries – early dropout may be perfectly rational and well informed, even in the absence of liquidity constraints. This paper provides an integer approach to guide intervention in developing countries, though there are no clear-cut policies. Long-term measures should be aimed at improving the productivity of the activity, for instance by improving teaching processes, qualification of human resources and organization of schools. Also, less costly measures targeting subjective factors like motivation might be as effective.

Suggested Citation

  • Rossana Patrón, 2008. "Early school dropouts in developing countries: An integer approach to guide intervention. The case of Uruguay," Documentos de Trabajo (working papers) 1608, Department of Economics - dECON.
  • Handle: RePEc:ude:wpaper:1608

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Eric A. Hanushek, 1979. "Conceptual and Empirical Issues in the Estimation of Educational Production Functions," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 14(3), pages 351-388.
    2. Eric A. Hanushek & Victor Lavy & Kohtaro Hitomi, 2008. "Do Students Care about School Quality? Determinants of Dropout Behavior in Developing Countries," Journal of Human Capital, University of Chicago Press, vol. 2(1), pages 69-105.
    3. Carlos Peraita & Margarita Pastor, 2000. "The Primary School Dropout in Spain: The Influence of Family Background and Labor Market Conditions," Education Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 8(2), pages 157-168.
    4. W Thomas & D J Webber & F Walton, 2002. "School Leaving Intentions at the Age of Sixteen: Evidence from a Multicultural City Environment," Economic Issues Journal Articles, Economic Issues, vol. 7(1), pages 1-14, March.
    5. Pablo Lavado & José Gallegos, 2005. "The dynamics of the schooling dropout in Peru: a framework using duration models," Working Papers 05-09, Departamento de Economía, Universidad del Pacífico, revised Sep 2005.
    6. 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.
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    Cited by:

    1. Rossana Patron & Marcel Vaillant, 2012. "Can Education Policy Address The Wage Gap? A Note On Public Skill Formation In Developing Countries," Journal of International Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 24(3), pages 369-378, April.

    More about this item


    dropouts; secondary education; education quality; developing countries;

    JEL classification:

    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education
    • I28 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Government Policy


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