Evaluating the Impact of Mexico's Quality Schools Program : The Pitfalls of Using Nonexperimental Data

48 Pages Posted: 20 Apr 2016

See all articles by Emmanuel Skoufias

Emmanuel Skoufias

World Bank

Joseph Shapiro

World Bank - The International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD)

Date Written: October 1, 2006

Abstract

The authors evaluate whether increasing school resources and decentralizing management decisions at the school level improves learning in a developing country. Mexico's Quality Schools Program (PEC), following many other countries and U.S. states, offers US$15,000 grants for public schools to implement five-year improvement plans that the school's staff and community design. Using a three-year panel of 74,700 schools, the authors estimate the impact of the PEC on dropout, repetition, and failure using two common nonexperimental methods-regression analysis and propensity score matching. The methods provide similar but nonidentical results. The preferred estimator, difference-in-differences with matching, reveals that participation in the PEC decreases dropout by 0.24 percentage points, failure by 0.24 percentage points, and repetition by 0.31 percentage points-an economically small but statistically significant impact. The PEC lacks measurable impact on outcomes in indigenous schools. The results suggest that a combination of increased resources and local management can produce small improvements in school outcomes, though perhaps not in the most troubled school systems.

Keywords: Tertiary Education, Education For All, Primary Education, Teaching and Learning, Secondary Education, Economics of Education

Suggested Citation

Skoufias, Emmanuel and Shapiro, Joseph, Evaluating the Impact of Mexico's Quality Schools Program : The Pitfalls of Using Nonexperimental Data (October 1, 2006). World Bank Policy Research Working Paper No. 4036, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=937531

Emmanuel Skoufias (Contact Author)

World Bank ( email )

1818 H Street, NW
Washington, DC 20433
United States

Joseph Shapiro

World Bank - The International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) ( email )

Washington, DC 20433
United States