Can obtaining an eduaction pull people out of poverty


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Poverty is an issue that affects many people today not just those in third world countries but even those in Canada and the United States. This is an issue because people living below the poverty line are more likely to continue the cycle having their children living the same way and so on. There are so many ways to pull out of poverty; all that is need is a push. Scholarships are awarded to children in poverty so they can get a good education and get good jobs in turn getting themselves and their future families out of poverty.

Using the articles I discuses in this paper I am trying to discover if obtaining education can be used to help reduce poverty. I have chosen three articles to illustrate how when scholarships are granted to children they help to complete their education. I mainly concentrated on the fact that these scholarships are being given to children to help them stay in school and also get a better education from a better school.

In England an article highlighted that top universities would be using the extra money from the raise in tuition to give scholarship. These scholarships would be given to students in financial need. This is become what is said to be a "minimum requirement" in England(Green,M,2004). This will help give a chance to those who could not afford to go to these schools without this help and help them break out of the poverty cycle. This article then leads to the question will creating scholarships make an impact on the impoverished? Or will it just be giving away free money?

More recent article

Private schools are seen to be better than public schools. Giving the option to parents of choosing between private and public schools is making the schools more competitive in turn making them both better. Looking further into this Anand, P., Mizala, A., & Repetto, A. (2009) did a voucher experiment in Chile. This stands out from the other studies because of the fact that a universal system has been in place for over 25 years in Chile. In this experiment a fee-charging private school will give vouchers to students for their tuition; on top of that the schools are allowed to charge other fees as long as a percentage of the funds are used to fund scholarships (Anand,P et al,2009). Of course, with all studies come challenges. In this study there was a counterfactual problem where it was impossible to observe the student that attends private school as well as that same student attending public school. Also selection bias was a large issue; children who choose the advantage to go to the private schools could have an unobserved characteristic that is correlated with academic achievement(Anand,P et al,2009). Furthermore it was found that scholarships are tended to be awarded to students that are going through a period of economic struggle and whose parents work for the schools.

In this new voucher system two- thirds of the scholarships must be distributed according to economic need and used objective information and procedure to do so; the rest of the scholarships can be distributed at the school discretion (Anand,P et al,2009). The most important difference between private and public schools is the admission process for student and the job contracts and pay for teachers. This meaning private schools have more freedom to hire, fire and select whichever teachers they want(Anand,P et al,2009). It was found that there is no significant difference between public schools and non-religious private schools however catholic private schools have high achievement rates.

The data in this study is much different then compared to other studies. There is an absence of panel ( contains observations on multiple levels over multiple periods of time) and experimental data(data created using methods , measurements etc.).This could be an issue as these types of data are more accurate to work with. This means that a novel identification strategy is used to address the selection bias. This paper estimates the average effect on academic achievement that moving students from the public school sector to the fee-charging private school has. To do this study they matched students from the public school to students that had scholarships to a fee-charging private school. The validity of the identification strategy could be tested since there may be differences in the unobservables of the scholarship students, like parents trying to get jobs in the school so their children could get scholarships (Anand,P et al,2009). Short-term based scholarships are not included in the treatment group as the researchers are looking for students who are largely influenced to go to the school based on the scholarship. The students in the treatment group are mostly one who would have been attending public or free-private if they did not receive a scholarship. The data for this study comes for the standardized tests called SIMCE; they used fourth grade students results since it would be harder to tell if the student has lots of academic ability making the schools chose them for that reason (Anand,P et al,2009). Also a questionnaire was used that was answered by the parents of the students that wrote the SIMCE that year. The students in the study were ones from the metropolitan region of Santiago since that is the area where more private voucher schools are located (Anand,P et al,2009). It was found that scholarship students seem to score better than those at free-private schools and public schools but not as well as fee-charging private schools(Anand,P et al,2009).

The student's performance is evaluated using a three step strategy. The model for receiving a scholarship was calculated using probability. The schools choice model controls the likelihood of being awarded a fee reduction (Anand,P et al,2009). Propensity scores were matched to compare the outcomes of the treatment and control groups. From the results of the school interviews it was found that schools tend to offer fee reductions to children of employees and students who suffer from financial difficulties. A logit model was conducted to find the characteristics of students most likely to receive scholarships. It was found that there is no correlation between language and science marks and the probability of gaining a scholarship. There was however a positive relationship between math scores and the probability of getting a scholarship, but this was not present in the top 10% of schools (Anand,P et al,2009). These results are unusual because it is expected for the schools in the top 10% to be more selective in scholarships (Anand,P et al,2009). A model was created and included the total number of schools in the area, as well as number of school and student-level characteristic including mothers schooling, reason for choice of school, and frequency parents help with school work (Anand,P et al,2009). The model showed that students with a high probability of scholarships in private schools have characteristics that are similar to that of public school students. Also students are more likely to go to private schools if there are more private schools in the area. Propensity scoring is used to find a group in the public and fee-private schools that matches the scholarship recipients. Also a series of robustness checks were conducted to find the effects changing the assumptions has on the results. Found was that scholarship and non-scholarship students did not perform differently (Anand,P et al,2009). It was found that students that move from the public schools to fee-private schools due to scholarship perform better in language and science ranging for a change of 17-22% of one standard deviation.

In conclusion it was found that low-income students that typically attend public-school can benefit from attending fee-charging private schools (Anand,P et al,2009). It is found that the ability of resources is not what counts for the greater performance of students. Some unobservables cannot be included in the study. The differences in test scores could be linked to the motivation given by parents who send their children to these schools(Anand,P et al,2009). It is possible to create an environment where the academic achievement of low-income students can be improved.

I think my key article is better than this article as it has more fact to back it up. I found this article repeats itself quite a bit making it hard to understand what they are talking about. Also the graphs in this article are not fully explained making it difficult to follow the conclusions being drawn. The difference between the fee-charging private school and the free private schools was extremely small making the results not very helpful. This article took the general idea of my key article and tweaked it since there were three different types of schools in Chile. I found this article didn't do as good of job with the study then the key article. The key article found that there was a difference between scholarship recipients and non-recipients, where as this article did not find as much of a correlation between the free schools and the fee charging school making the study less significant than my key article because the study didn't show much change in the marks between the schools meaning the scholarships to the fee charging school doesn't further the children much more than them just going to the free private school. Also this article found that public schools are more efficient for students with disadvantageous background which most of the children needing the scholarships come from.

Previous article

This article by Kim.j, Alderman. H, Orazem. PF,(1999) measures the impact of enrolment of a program made to encourage the creation of new private girls' schools in Quetta, Pakistan. There is an extremely wide gender gap in the province of Baluchistan between boys and girls enrolment in school (Kim.j,1999). There is evidence that shows constraints partially account for low school enrolments and achievements. In educating girls the problem is not lack of schools but there are absences in gender-specific programs. Private schools do not face the same problems as public schools. This means the government may spend less time and money of the private schools (Kim.j,et al,1999). The education foundation launched the Urban Fellowship Program in Quetta to determine whether establishing private schools in poor neighbourhoods would be cost-effective. Private schools were encouraged, there was a low tuition and each school received 200 rupees per girl that was enrolled. Boys were allowed to be enrolled as long as they made up less than half of students (Kim.j,et al,1999). There was a goal to create a partnership between the parents and school operators. The parents were asked to form a committee which would represent the community.

This study used a strategy of randomized assignment, and the outcome variable of interest is school enrolment (Kim.j,et al,1999). One way to get an unbiased estimator is to use changes in the outcome over time. The reflective estimator measures the effect that is expected in regards to enrolment rate after the program has been in place (Kim.j,et al,1999). The mean difference estimator measures the expected effect of the program as the observed differences in outcome between the treatment group and the control group (Kim.j,et al,1999). The difference estimator measures the expected effect of the program in difference between the control and treatment group after the program has been implemented (Kim.j,et al,1999). Parents chose to educate each gender differently as there are difference benefits for educating different genders. The fellowship program raises cost in the sense of fees but lowers them in the sense of time since it will be a shorter trip to school. This program also gives boy education at a lower cost and their education may increase as their sisters go to school.

The government placed one school in 3 neighbourhoods. No recent census of the population had been done ( last one was done 14 years ago) meaning it was difficult to define a treatment and control group. They choose 10 areas and from those select 3 sites to build the schools, then they randomly picked one site to be the treatment neighbourhood (Kim.j,et al,1999). The information collected also had things to do with household socioeconomic characteristics, parent's education, and the current enrolment status. In this article they measured the program's impact using the estimators (Kim.j,et al,1999). There were measurements of change in enrolment, also enrolment rates longitudinally of children ages 4 to 7 were measures in the original year of the program (Kim.j,et al,1999).

The treatment group included 1,310 children, 781 girls and 529 boys. The control group included 1,358 children, 697 girls and 661 boys. The dependent variable is a dummy variable that equals one; most of the other variables come straight for the questionnaire. They tested the equality of the endogenous and exogenous variable. Next tested was the null hypothesis of equality of behavioural coefficients in the choice models for enrolment. Baseline enrolment rates for both sexes are drastically higher in the treatment group compared to the control group. The parent's decision making process may differ from student to student. There are significant difference between the treatment and control group but the enrolment rate between the treatment and control group can still be measured.

In the comparison of mean enrolment rates, the age-specific shows that the program has a positive effect on the enrolment of girls in the target age group and has the same effect on boys (Kim.j,et al,1999). The cohort- specific analysis controls the unobservables but some enrolment growth can be blamed on age. There were gains in enrolment for both boys and girl but there was more of an increase in most areas for the girls. Enrolment rate increased 33.4 % of girl and 22.4% in boys in the first year of the program (Kim.j,et al,1999). The response from parents about this program was instantaneous because they thought there was a need for it. First- difference analysis found that the coefficient representing the program effect is much more positive and larger for girls than boys. Opening of the fellowship school could have made parents send children to school at a younger age.

The cost of this program in perspective is very inexpensive. It cost 2,500 rupees for each student enrolled in a government primary school (Kim.j,et al,1999). Its cost more than double to go the government school in the first year. There was a large cost in the main set up since the schools had to be built. Income only has a moderate effect on participation in the program. The impact of the program might be due to the fact that it reduces distances from the schools (Kim.j,et al,1999). It seems to be that enrolment of younger children rises more than that of older children. There seems to be a high probability of success if program was expanded. One question left unanswered is whether the program will be able to operate for a generation or more. Despite the positive feedback these schools are still not financially independent (Kim.j,et al,1999).

I think in comparison my key article is better than this article. Although both the studies found that the increase in enrolment and attendance were about the same (30%) I still think my key article helped more with my policy issue. The sample groups in this study are from different areas meaning the characteristics for why they are choosing schools could be different. The schools that are studied are randomly picked for a list of 10 locations. They are random decisions with no means to why they picked the 3 locations they did. This article helps lead to my key article. The results in this study were used as a base in my key article, comparing this study to the one being done in my key article. My key article builds on this article and does a similar study in a different area to see if it works in Cambodia too.

Key article

In the article by Filmer, D., & Schady, N. (2008) the level of education of girls is often regarded as an important priority in developing countries. The rate of returning to school for women is not as large as men, because of house duties (Filmer,D., et al, 2008). In a large number of countries girl's education is lower than boys. Schooling attainment is difficult for girls, because of the standards girls need to keep at home. This study evaluates the impact of a program called the Japan Fund for Poverty Reduction (JFPR) that is made to increase enrolment of females in secondary school in Cambodia. This program awards scholarships to poor girls who are finishing the sixth grade. This study showed that the JFPR increases attendance in the program schools by 30% (Filmer,D.,et al, 2008).

There is a significant difference between the amount of 15-19 year olds that have completed grade 1 compared to grade 7. The JFPR selected 93 low secondary schools and from that selected 45 girls from each school to receive scholarships of $45 each (Filmer,D.,et al, 2008). These girls then can receive this scholarship for 3 more years in hope that more girls will finish their lower secondary schooling (Filmer,D.,et al, 2008). This program gives cash to the family with an agreement saying it will be used for schooling but there is nothing that enforces it. The two main sources of data are from the application forms to the scholarship program and data on school enrolment and attendance from an unannounced school visits to the schools the programs are taking place in (Filmer,D.,et al, 2008). The application form for the scholarship included 28 questions about ownership of assets, housing materials, and distance to nearest secondary school (Filmer,D.,et al, 2008). Teachers were not encouraged to make additional marks on the form to indicate the poverty or academic potential of the student. The scholarships were forwarded to the local management committee and there the 45 girls were chosen by who needed it the most. After the girls had been chosen all applicants were contacted at told whether they got the scholarship or not. There was also a surprise visit to the school by the local management committee when the awardees were in eighth grade. This was to check to see if the girls were attending classes or not. Measure of enrolment were made base on the information gotten by the school visits.

The comparison of scholarship recipients and non-recipients at baseline showed the girls who received the scholarships had lower socioeconomic status (Filmer,D.,et al, 2008). There was a lot of "trimming and matching" to remove the imbalance. Attendance and enrolment are the main results of impact in this study. Effects of the JFPR scholarship program on enrolment and attendance is approximately 30 percentage points. Among the scholarship recipients there are virtually no differences in enrolment or attendance by socioeconomic status (Filmer,D.,et al, 2008). There is a steep socioeconomic gradient in enrolment and attendance among the girls who were turned down for the scholarship (Filmer,D.,et al, 2008). Still there are some unobservables in this study. If the LMCs selected girls who they believed had more academic potential or if they selected girls that were poorer in ways that were not captured on the application form this could skew the results (Filmer,D.,et al, 2008). Missing data is a concern because wear and tear is correlated with treatment status (Filmer,D.,et al, 2008). It is shown that girls who have been turned down for the scholarship are more likely to go to non-JFPR schools. Also this study found that the program put in place made attendance and enrolment of the recipients 30% higher (Filmer,D.,et al, 2008). A program in Mexico had a similar effect but because it is a middle-income country they have more children going to school in the first place. The impact of this program is greater for the more disadvantaged girls. The JFPR program has significantly reduced socioeconomic gradients in enrolment and attendance (Filmer,D.,et al, 2008). This study shows that incentives can dramatically increase the school enrolment and attendance of girls in a very poor country. Looking at what this did on a small scale there maybe optimism for they kind of program on a larger scale.


All of these articles closely related to my policy issue. My key article uses Application form to the scholarship and data on the school's enrolment to calculate the propensity scores to see the probability that each girl in the study was awarded a scholarship. It was found that students who received a scholarship had lower socioeconomic status. It was found that incentives can dramatically increase school enrolment. In my more recent article the average effect on academic achievement from moving children from public schools to the private school sector is tested. The data used is from SIMCE standardized testing and models are made to control the likelihood of getting awarded a fee reduction. Propensity scores were used to find a similar group in both the public and private schools. It was found that students with scholarships preformed better in the language and science area. In the past article randomized assignment was used. The expected effect of the program as the observed differenced in outcome was calculated. It was found that this program has a positive effect on both girls and boys. Even the cost of the program is inexpensive when you consider the amount of time spent traveling to schools and the grants the government will be giving for each child going to the school. All of these articles had a positive effect creating a better education for the children involved. I think the most effective program would be my key article, since the girls who are receiving the scholarships are the most in need of the money.

After reading all these articles I still believe that education will have a major effect on getting people out of poverty. For the data is these articles it is shown that scholarships have a large positive effect on children's likelihood of going and staying in school. Therefore I still believe that the research supports my original statement that scholarships and education have pull people out of poverty. In the more recent article the marks of the children who are on scholarship are higher than their compared person in public schools. Also my key article shows that the JFPR program increase enrolment by 30% which shows that scholarships do work. This all being said if more scholarship programs were put into effect I think poverty would decrease because children would be getting a better and fuller education. If there were more opportunities for children to get an education they would try. Since many countries have to pay for their education give scholarships to more areas could have decrease poverty.

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