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Determinants of primary school enrollment in Haiti and the Dominican Republic


  • Gönsch, Iris


Education is considered an important means of alleviating poverty and of improving an individual's job and earnings prospects. Nevertheless, in Haiti and the Dominican Republic school enrollment is far from complete and shows notable regional variation. This paper analyzes determinants of primary school enrollment and investigates to what extent differences in schooling are due to individual factors compared to family or community influences. Using data from the Demographic and Health Surveys (DHS) for the two countries for two years each, logistic multilevel regression techniques are applied and the heterogeneity of the data sets is quantified using the median odds ratio (MOR). Results support earlier studies that identify the age of a child and family wealth as some of the most important explanatory variables. Combined with detailed descriptive analysis of the enrollment behavior, late enrollment is recognized as an important driver of low overall participation rates. Other influence factors do not have the same importance in both countries. The MOR indicates that educational enrollment status is determined to a relevant extent by household and community level characteristics and suggests an increase in importance of these higher levels over time.

Suggested Citation

  • Gönsch, Iris, 2010. "Determinants of primary school enrollment in Haiti and the Dominican Republic," Discussion Papers 54, Justus Liebig University Giessen, Center for international Development and Environmental Research (ZEU).
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:zeudps:54

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Amuedo-Dorantes, Catalina & Georges, Annie & Pozo, Susan, 2008. "Migration, Remittances and Children’s Schooling in Haiti," IZA Discussion Papers 3657, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    2. Johannes Gräb & Michael Grimm, 2008. "Spatial Inequalities Explained: Evidence from Burkina Faso," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 843, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
    3. Arjun S. Bedi & Paul K. Kimalu & Damiano Kulundu Mandab & Nancy Nafula, 2004. "The Decline in Primary School Enrolment in Kenya," Journal of African Economies, Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE), vol. 13(1), pages 1-43, March.
    4. Kathryn Wilson, 2001. "The Determinants of Educational Attainment: Modeling and Estimating the Human Capital Model and Education Production Functions," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 67(3), pages 518-551, January.
    5. Blundell, Richard, et al, 2000. "The Returns to Higher Education in Britain: Evidence from a British Cohort," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 110(461), pages 82-99, February.
    6. Klaus Larsen & Jørgen Holm Petersen & Esben Budtz-Jørgensen & Lars Endahl, 2000. "Interpreting Parameters in the Logistic Regression Model with Random Effects," Biometrics, The International Biometric Society, vol. 56(3), pages 909-914, September.
    7. Paul Schultz, T., 2004. "School subsidies for the poor: evaluating the Mexican Progresa poverty program," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 74(1), pages 199-250, June.
    8. Jacob Mincer, 1958. "Investment in Human Capital and Personal Income Distribution," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 66, pages 281-281.
    9. Behrman, Jere R & Sengupta, Piyali & Todd, Petra, 2005. "Progressing through PROGRESA: An Impact Assessment of a School Subsidy Experiment in Rural Mexico," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 54(1), pages 237-275, October.
    10. Bredl, Sebastian, 2009. "Migration, remittances and educational outcomes: The case of Haiti," Discussion Papers 44, Justus Liebig University Giessen, Center for international Development and Environmental Research (ZEU).
    11. Herrmann, Roland & Kramb, Marc & Mönnich, Christina, 2000. "Tariff rate quotas and the economic impacts of agricultural trade liberalization in the WTO," Discussion Papers 1, Justus Liebig University Giessen, Center for international Development and Environmental Research (ZEU).
    12. Bedi, Arjun S. & Marshall, Jeffery H., 2002. "Primary school attendance in Honduras," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(1), pages 129-153, October.
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    More about this item


    primary school enrollment; household-level; multilevel modeling; Caribbean; education; development;

    JEL classification:

    • C19 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General - - - Other
    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education
    • O12 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Microeconomic Analyses of Economic Development
    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration


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