International Migration, Remittances, and Schooling: Evidence from El Salvador
Alejandra Cox Edwards
California State University, Long Beach - Department of Economics
Texas A&M University - Department of Economics
NBER Working Paper No. w9766
We examine the effect of remittances from abroad on households' schooling decisions using data for El Salvador. Following the massive war-related emigration of the 1980's, remittances became a significant source of household income throughout the 1990's. We use the Cox proportional hazard model to examine the determinants of school attendance. Measuring income from a source that is uncorrelated with parental schooling remittances , we find that remittances have a large, significant effect on school retention. We estimate that while household income net of remittances has a small, though significant, impact on the hazard of leaving school in rural and urban areas, remittances have a much larger impact on the hazard of leaving school. In urban areas, the effect of remittances is, at its smallest, 10 times the size of the effect of other income. In rural areas, the effect of remittances is about 2.6 times that of other income. Our finding is of interest in that it suggests that subsidizing school attendance, particularly in poor areas, may have a large impact on school attendance and retention, even if parents have low levels of schooling.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 53
Date posted: June 8, 2003