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Did social safety net scholarships reduce drop-out rates during the Indonesian economic crisis?


  • Cameron, Lisa A.


The author uses regression and matching techniques to evaluate Indonesia's Social Safety Net Scholarships Program, which was developed to keep large numbers of children from dropping out of school as a result of the Asian crisis. It was expected that many families would find it difficult to keep their children in school and that dropout rates would be high, as they were during a recession in the 1980s. But dropouts did not increase markedly and enrollment rates remained relatively steady. The author examines the role the scholarship program played in producing this result. She found the scholarships to have been effective in reducing dropouts in the lower secondary school (where students are more susceptible to dropping out) by about 3 percentage points. They had no discernible impact in primary and upper secondary schools. The author also examines how well the program adhered to its documented targeting design and how effective that design was in reaching the poor. Committees that allocated the scholarships followed the criteria diligently, but a significant percentage of scholarships did go to students from households with high reported per capita expenditures, if household expenditure data are reliable. It is unclear how targeting can be improved, giving the scarcity of accurate local household data in most countries. Using local monitoring could help but then monitoring for accountability would be more difficult. Preliminary evidence favors focusing safety net scholarships--designed to reduce dropout rates during an economic crisis--on lower secondary schools, continuing to target children (especially older students) from large families, scaling back scholarships to private schools at the lower secondary level, or targeting the households hurt most by the crisis.

Suggested Citation

  • Cameron, Lisa A., 2002. "Did social safety net scholarships reduce drop-out rates during the Indonesian economic crisis?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2800, The World Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:2800

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Lisa Cameron, 2001. "The Impact Of The Indonesian Financial Crisis On Children: An Analysis Using The 100 Villages Data," Bulletin of Indonesian Economic Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 37(1), pages 43-64.
    2. Jalan, Jyotsna & Ravallion, Martin, 1999. "Income gains to the poor from workfare - estimates for Argentina's TRABAJAR Program," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2149, The World Bank.
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    Cited by:

    1. Robert Sparrow, 2007. "Protecting Education for the Poor in Times of Crisis: An Evaluation of a Scholarship Programme in Indonesia," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 69(1), pages 99-122, February.
    2. Pritchett, Lant, 2005. "The political economy of targeted safety nets," Social Protection and Labor Policy and Technical Notes 31498, The World Bank.
    3. L. ALAN WINTERS & NEIL McCULLOCH & ANDREW McKAY, 2015. "Trade Liberalization and Poverty: The Evidence So Far," World Scientific Book Chapters,in: Non-Tariff Barriers, Regionalism and Poverty Essays in Applied International Trade Analysis, chapter 14, pages 271-314 World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd..
    4. Ariel Fiszbein & Norbert Schady & Francisco H.G. Ferreira & Margaret Grosh & Niall Keleher & Pedro Olinto & Emmanuel Skoufias, 2009. "Conditional Cash Transfers : Reducing Present and Future Poverty," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 2597, March.
    5. Elisabetta Magnani & Garima Verma & Anu Rammohan, 2012. "Intra-household Competition for Care: The Role of Bequest-regulating Social Norms," Working Papers 201206, ARC Centre of Excellence in Population Ageing Research (CEPAR), Australian School of Business, University of New South Wales.
    6. World Bank, 2012. "History and Evolution of Social Assistance in Indonesia," World Bank Other Operational Studies 12259, The World Bank.
    7. Agus Priyambada & Asep Suryahadi & Sudarno Sumarto, 2005. "What Happened to Child Labor in Indonesia during the Economic Crisis : The Trade-off between School and Work," Labor Economics Working Papers 22535, East Asian Bureau of Economic Research.
    8. Margaret Grosh & Carlo del Ninno & Emil Tesliuc & Azedine Ouerghi, 2008. "For Protection and Promotion : The Design and Implementation of Effective Safety Nets," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 6582, March.
    9. Martin Ravallion, 2013. "The Idea of Antipoverty Policy," NBER Working Papers 19210, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.


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