Compulsory education laws or incentives from CCT programs? Explaining the rise in secondary school attendance rate in Argentina

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Abstract

Argentina has traditionally stood out in terms of educational outcomes among its Latin American counterparts. Schooling of older children, however, still shows room for improvement especially among the more vulnerable. Fortunately, during the last years a sizeable improvement in attendance rates for children aged 15 through 17 took place. This could be related to the 2006 National Education Law that made upper-secondary education compulsory. In this paper, instead, we claim that the Asignación Universal por Hijo (Universal Child Allowance, AUH) -a massive conditional cash transfer program implemented in 2009 in Argentina- may be mostly responsible for this improvement. Using a difference-in-difference strategy we estimate that the program accounts for a 3.9 percentage point increase in the probability of attending secondary school among eligible children aged 15 through 17. The impact seems to be led by boys and is more relevant for children living in larger families where the head of household has a lower educational level.

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How to Cite
Edo, M., Marchionni, M., & Garganta, S. (2017). Compulsory education laws or incentives from CCT programs? Explaining the rise in secondary school attendance rate in Argentina. Education Policy Analysis Archives, 25, 76. https://doi.org/10.14507/epaa.25.2596
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Author Biographies

Maria Edo, Universidad de San Andrés & CONICET

María Edo is a postdoctoral scholar at the National Council of Scientific and Technical Research (CONICET)-Universidad de San Andrés (UdeSA) in Argentina and Assistant Professor at UdeSA. María holds a PhD in Economics from UdeSA. Her research interests include Poverty Measurement, Social Policies and Gender Economics.

Mariana Marchionni, CEDLAS-Universidad Nacional de La Plata & CONICET

Mariana Marchionni is Senior Researcher of the Centro de Estudios Distributivos, Laborales y Sociales (CEDLAS) at Universidad Nacional de La Plata (UNLP), and Associate Researcher of the National Council of Scientific and Technical Research (CONICET). Mariana holds a PhD in Economics from UNLP and was a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at University of British Columbia during 2013. She is a full-time professor and the Director of the Master Program in Economics at UNLP. Her main research interests are in the areas of Economics of Education, Gender Economics, Demographic Economics, and Social Policies, and she has published numerous articles in academic journals, books and book chapters on these topics.

Santiago Garganta, CEDLAS-Universidad Nacional de La Plata & CONICET

Santiago Garganta is Senior Researcher of the Centro de Estudios Distributivos, Laborales y Sociales (CEDLAS) at Universidad Nacional de La Plata (UNLP) in Argentina. He has a PhD in Economics from UNLP and holds a postdoctoral fellowship from the National Council of Scientific and Technical Research (CONICET). His research work is focused on the fields of Labor Economics, Poverty and Inequality, and Social Protection Systems.