Progressing Through Progresa: An Impact Assessment of a School Subsidy Experiment

84 Pages Posted: 10 Oct 2001

See all articles by Jere Behrman

Jere Behrman

University of Pennsylvania - Department of Economics

Pilali Segupta

Independent

Petra Todd

University of Pennsylvania - Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Date Written: April 2001

Abstract

A new anti-poverty program in Mexico, PROGRESA, provides monetary transfers to families that are contingent upon their children's regular attendance at school. The benefit levels are intended to offset the opportunity costs of not sending children to school and vary with the grade level and gender of the child. The initial phase of the program was implemented as a randomized social experiment.

This paper uses a Markov schooling transition model applied to the experimental data to assess the impact of the educational subsidy program along several dimensions, including effects on initial ages of school entry, dropout rates, grade repetition rates, and school reentry rates. The findings show that the program effectively reduces drop-out rates and facilitates progression through the grades, particularly during the transition from primary to secondary school. Results based on a simulation evaluating the effects of longer terms of exposure to the program indicate that if children were to participate in the program between ages 6 to 14, they would experience an increase of 0.6 years in average educational attainment levels years and an increase of 19% in the percentage of children attending junior secondary school.

Suggested Citation

Behrman, Jere R. and Segupta, Pilali and Todd, Petra, Progressing Through Progresa: An Impact Assessment of a School Subsidy Experiment (April 2001). Pier Working Paper No. 01-033. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=286295 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.286295

Jere R. Behrman

University of Pennsylvania - Department of Economics ( email )

Ronald O. Perelman Center for Political Science
133 South 36th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6297
United States
215-898-7704 (Phone)
215-573-2057 (Fax)

Pilali Segupta

Independent ( email )

United States

Petra Todd (Contact Author)

University of Pennsylvania - Department of Economics ( email )

Ronald O. Perelman Center for Political Science
133 South 36th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6297
United States

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

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