Addressing High School Dropouts with a Scalable Intervention: The Case of Poder

32 Pages Posted: 24 Dec 2019

See all articles by Ciro Avitabile

Ciro Avitabile

World Bank

Janina Cuevas

United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF)

Rafael E. De Hoyos Navarro

World Bank

Julian C. Jamison

University of Exeter Business School - Department of Economics; World Bank eMBeD (Mind, Behavior, and Development); Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL); Innovations for Poverty Action

Date Written: December 17, 2019

Abstract

Working with the Mexican Ministry of Education, this study piloted a scalable program to reduce high school dropout rates by focusing on socio-emotional skill development and mathematics tutoring. The intervention was evaluated through a randomized field experiment with more than 5,000 youths at 20 upper secondary schools in Mexico City. An intention-to-treat analysis finds some evidence that exposure to the Opportunities and Development to Avoid Risks Program increases socio-emotional skills, but no evidence that it improves math outcomes or future attendance. Likely explanations for these null results include low take-up and other process factors, which are document qualitatively, as well as heterogeneous treatment effects. In particular, an inverse-probability-weighted matching model is suggestive of an effect whereby some students participate actively in the program and drop out of school less often, while other students choose not to participate when given the option and actually drop out more as a result.

Suggested Citation

Avitabile, Ciro and Cuevas, Janina and De Hoyos, Rafael E. and Jamison, Julian C., Addressing High School Dropouts with a Scalable Intervention: The Case of Poder (December 17, 2019). World Bank Policy Research Working Paper No. 9085. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3507833

Ciro Avitabile (Contact Author)

World Bank ( email )

1818 H Street, NW
Washington, DC 20433
United States

Janina Cuevas

United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF)

Port-au-Prince
Haiti

Rafael E. De Hoyos

World Bank ( email )

1818 H Street, NW
Washington, DC 20433
United States

Julian C. Jamison

University of Exeter Business School - Department of Economics ( email )

Streatham Court
Exeter, EX4 4RJ
United Kingdom

World Bank eMBeD (Mind, Behavior, and Development) ( email )

1818 H Street, N.W.
Washington, DC 20433
United States

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL) ( email )

30 Wadsworth Street, E53-320
77 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02142
United States

Innovations for Poverty Action ( email )

1731 Connecticut Ave, 4th floor
New Haven, CT 20009
United States

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