Impact of School Quality on Child Labor and School Attendance: The case of CONAFE Compensatory Education Program in Mexico

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This paper focuses on the impact that two different types of policy interventions, namely enhancing school quality and contingent cash transfers , have on child labour and school attendance in Mexico. While there are many studies on the impact of Oportunidades on schooling outcomes, little evidence is available on whether school quality programs such as CONAFE also reduce child labour and help keep children in school. To carry out the analysis, we merge the Oportunidades panel dataset for the years 1997 to 2000 to the CONAFE dataset containing detailed information on the school quality program components. The econometric strategy involves a bivariate probit model for child labor and schooling, both for primary school aged children and adolescents. In this way, we are able to control whether the impact of the program on schooling differs according to the age of the targeted child. Our findings suggest that school quality programs are not only effective in increasing school attendance, but also act as deterrents to child labor, especially for children of secondary school age.


F. C. Rosati, M. Rossi

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