How Much are We Willing to Pay to Send Poor Adolescents to School? Simulating Changes to Mexico's Oportunidades in Urban Areas

37 Pages Posted: 25 Apr 2011

See all articles by Viviane M. R. Azevedo

Viviane M. R. Azevedo

Inter-American Development Bank (IDB)

Patricia Yañez-Pagans

Inter-American Development Bank (IDB)

César P. Bouillon

Inter-American Development Bank (IDB)

Date Written: June 2009

Abstract

Although Mexico’s Conditional Cash Transfer Program Oportunidades has increased overall school enrollment, many adolescents do not attend school, especially in urban areas. This paper simulates the effects of changes in program design using a simple parametric method based on a simultaneous probability model of school attendance and child labor. The paper also provides alternative non parametric simulation results by extending Todd and Wolpin’s (2006) method to incorporate changes in working hours when attending school. The results indicate that eliminating or reducing school subsidies for primary education and increasing transfer for older students is a cost-effective way to raise overall school enrollment in urban areas. Increasing school attendance of 16-year-olds to 80 percent or more, however, would require a quadrupling of scholarships. This suggests that complementary interventions are needed.

Suggested Citation

Azevedo, Viviane M. R. and Yañez-Pagans, Patricia and Bouillon Buendia, César Patricio, How Much are We Willing to Pay to Send Poor Adolescents to School? Simulating Changes to Mexico's Oportunidades in Urban Areas (June 2009). IDB Working Paper No. 566. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1821917 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1821917

Viviane M. R. Azevedo (Contact Author)

Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) ( email )

1300 New York Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20577
United States

Patricia Yañez-Pagans

Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) ( email )

1300 New York Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20577
United States

César Patricio Bouillon Buendia

Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) ( email )

1300 New York Avenue
Washington, DC 20577

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