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Broadcasting Education at Scale: The Long-Term Effects of Television-Based Schools

  • Series
  • Speaker(s)
    Laia Navarro-Sola (Stockholm University, Sweden)
  • Field
    Empirical Microeconomics
  • Location
    Tinbergen Institute Amsterdam, room 1.01
  • Date and time

    May 23, 2023
    15:30 - 16:30

In areas with an insufficient supply of qualified teachers, delivering instruction through technology can be a solution to provide education. This paper investigates the educational and labor market impacts of an at-scale expansion of junior secondary education in Mexico through "telesecundarias'". These schools substitute on-site subject-specialized teachers with televised content, and currently serve 1.4 million students. We analyze the causal effects of telesecundarias by exploiting geographical differences in the intensity of school openings and cohort exposure induced by the timing of the policy during the period 1968 to 2000, and by using census data. Our findings show that exposed individuals experience long-term educational and labor market improvements. Cohorts in areas with high telesecundaria intensity have a 7.1 percentage point increase in the likelihood of graduating from lower secondary education, and an average increase of 0.86 years of education. Although labor market participation does not increase, they are more likely to work for pay and to have a 12.2% higher average hourly earnings. Analysis of sectoral composition shows a significant decrease in the overall share of individuals working in agriculture and increases in those working in services and in the formal sector.

This is joint work with Raissa Fabregas.