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Cuadernos de Investigación Educativa

Print version ISSN 1510-2432On-line version ISSN 1688-9304


MENESE, Pablo. Education subsidy to attendance at Secondary (Middle) Education in Uruguay. Cuad. Investig. Educ. [online]. 2021, vol.12, n.1, pp.5-21.  Epub June 01, 2021. ISSN 1510-2432.

In Uruguay, Secondary or Middle School graduation rates are close to 40%, recording one of the lowest rates throughout Latin American countries. One of the most important strategies to fight against educational inequality was implemented in 2008, pursuing expansion and reinforcement, and focusing the Asignaciones Familiares (education allowance per child), one of the oldest and most extensive conditional cash transfer programs. The purpose of this subsidy is to support educational expenses to families through a monthly monetary allowance, so that individuals from lower income households can face the costs of schooling, investing in human capital so as to break the cycle of economic vulnerability.

The objective of this work is to observe the effect of the subsidy program on private educational expenditure regarding attendance at Secondary School. For this propose, using a harmonized series of the Continuous Household Survey from 2001 to 2017, two quasi-experiments techniques are combined: Propensity Score Matching and Difference in Differences. In this way, the impact of expansion implemented through Asignaciones Familiares from 2008 is evaluated both for Lower and Upper Secondary School attendance.

Among the main results, the allowance of Asignaciones Familiars evidenced a significant and positive effect in the attendance at Lower Secondary School, with great increase after the reform of 2008. However, in Upper Secondary Education, Asignaciones Familiares subsidy had no effect prior to 2008, and thereafter was negative.

Keywords : Human capital; conditional transfers; educational inequality.

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