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ERIC Number: ED523003
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Pages: 213
Abstractor: As Provided
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1243-9309-4
Essays on the Economics of Education in Mexico
Perez Arce Novaro, Francisco
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, Princeton University
This thesis consists of three essays in the economics of education with an empirical focus on Mexico. The first two chapters study a college in Mexico whose admission decisions are made through a lottery. Some applicants are randomly assigned into a group that can immediately enroll and the rest into a group that can only do so after waiting one year. This "experiment" created a difference in the education trajectories of the two groups. I surveyed the applicants for the 2007/2008 academic year and found that, one and a half years after the first group enrolled, individuals in that group were 19 percentage points more likely to be enrolled than those that had to wait. In the first chapter, I explore the implications that this experiment has for the economic model of educational decisions. I show that the standard neoclassical model of educational decisions predicts minimal effect of deferral (i.e. having to wait) on educational attainment. However, I find evidence against this prediction since many of the applicants who had to wait one year did not come back to study. To account for these results, I extend the standard model by placing the education decision in a model of labor market search. This suggests the importance of variability in opportunity costs for explaining who enrolls in college at any given moment. I derive testable implications of the model and show that they are verified empirically. I also discuss alternative explanations of the impact of deferral and show they are inconsistent with observed patterns. I conclude that within-individual variation in opportunity costs is an important element in determining educational attainment. In the second chapter, I use this natural experiment to examine whether education increases patience. Since the lottery outcome had a significant impact on the probability of going to college, this experiment can be used to study the effects of education. The survey that I fielded measured the respondents' time preferences with a series of hypothetical inter-temporal choice questions. I find that individuals who were successful in the admission lottery were on average more patient, which points towards a causal effect of education on time preferences. The last chapter studies the impact of expenditures on the returns to schooling within a context of dramatic reductions in public spending. I match data on expenditures and pupil-teacher ratios from Mexico in the 1980's with individual earnings in 2007/2008 and find that the returns to education among individuals that went to poorly funded schools are lower than among those that went to better funded ones. I determine that within-state changes in educational expenditures and pupil-teacher ratios predict changes in the returns to education. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
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Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Mexico