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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.

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Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 2800.

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Date of creation: 31 Mar 2002
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Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:2800
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  1. Ravallion, Martin, 1999. "Themystery of the vanishing benefits : Ms. Speedy Analyst's introduction to evaluation," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2153, The World Bank.
  2. Smith, Richard J & Blundell, Richard W, 1986. "An Exogeneity Test for a Simultaneous Equation Tobit Model with an Application to Labor Supply," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 54(3), pages 679-85, May.
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  4. Lisa A. Cameron, 2001. "The Impact of the Indonesian Financial Crisis on Children: An analysis using the 100 villages data," Innocenti Working Papers inwopa01/10, UNICEF Innocenti Research Centre.
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  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. Ravallion, Martin & Wodon, Quentin, 2000. "Does Child Labour Displace Schooling? Evidence on Behavioural Responses to an Enrollment Subsidy," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 110(462), pages C158-75, March.
  11. Kenneth Bollen & David Guilkey & Thomas Mroz, 1995. "Binary outcomes and endogenous explanatory variables: Tests and solutions with an application to the demand for contraceptive use in tunisia," Demography, Springer, vol. 32(1), pages 111-131, February.
  12. Rivers, Douglas & Vuong, Quang H., 1988. "Limited information estimators and exogeneity tests for simultaneous probit models," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 39(3), pages 347-366, November.
  13. Pitt, Mark M & Rosenzweig, Mark R & Gibbons, Donna M, 1993. "The Determinants and Consequences of the Placement of Government Programs in Indonesia," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 7(3), pages 319-48, September.
  14. Sumarto, Sudarno & Suryahadi, Asep & Pritchett, Lant, 2003. "Safety Nets or Safety Ropes? Dynamic Benefit Incidence of Two Crisis Programs in Indonesia," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 31(7), pages 1257-1277, July.
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