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Publication(Taylor and Francis, 2018) Adelman, Melissa ; Haimovich, Francisco ; Ham, Andres ; Vazquez, EmmanuelSchool dropout is a growing concern across Latin America because of its negative social and economic consequences. Identifying who is likely to drop out, and therefore could be targeted for interventions, is a well-studied prediction problem in countries with strong administrative data. In this paper, we use new data in Guatemala and Honduras to estimate some of the first dropout prediction models for lower-middle income countries. These models correctly identify 80% of sixth grade students who will drop out within the next year, performing better than other commonly used targeting approaches and as well as models used in the United States.
Publication(Taylor and Francis, 2016-11-03) Caceres, Susan ; Tanner, Jeffrey ; Williams, SianThis policy note advances three inter-related principles to guide policy-makers and agents in international development organizations to prioritize their actions. These principles are drawn from findings from two Early Childhood Development (ECD) reports recently completed by the World Bank Independent Evaluation Group—one on the World Bank support for ECD and the other a systematic review of the sustained effects of early childhood interventions. The principles are: Support the Early Development of Children, Starting from Birth; Support Parents Through Existing Services; Make Resources Available to Meet Needs of the Most Vulnerable. These principles imply a new emphasis on development beyond survival with effective, evidence-informed interventions. The policy implications also mean starting with what exists in services in health and protection for vulnerable families and augmenting these with parenting support and education components so that children’s risks are reduced and more poor children will be ready to enter primary school at the appropriate age and to persist through schooling and thrive in the labor market.
Publication(Elsevier, 2016-02) Bastos, Paulo ; Straume, Odd RuneExpanding access to preschool education is a particularly important policy issue in developing countries, where enrollment rates are generally much lower, and where private institutions constitute a much larger share of the formal preschool sector, than in developed countries. This paper examines if an expansion in the supply of public preschool crowds-out private enrollment using rich data for municipalities in Brazil from 2000 to 2006, where federal transfers to local governments change discontinuously with given population thresholds. Results from a regression-discontinuity design reveal that larger federal transfers lead to a significant expansion of local public preschool services, but show no evidence of crowding-out of private enrollment, nor of negative impacts on the quality of private providers. This finding is consistent with a theory in which households differ in willingness-to-pay for preschool services, and private suppliers optimally adjust prices in response to an expansion of lower-quality, free-of-charge public supply. In the context of the model, the absence of crowding-out effects of more public preschool providers can be rationalized by the existence of relatively large differences in willingness-to-pay for preschool services across different demand segments. Our theoretical and empirical findings therefore suggest that in developing country settings characterized by relatively high income inequality, an expansion in public preschool supply will likely significantly increase enrollment among the poorest segments of society, and need not have adverse effects on the quantity or quality of local private supply.