Family, Gender and Secondary Schooling in Latin America

Laurie DeRose, University of Maryland
Marcos Agurto, Universidad de Piura
Paul Corcuera Garcia, Universidad de Piura
Marga Gonzalvo, Universitat Internacional de Catalunya
Gloria Huarcaya, Universidad de Piura
Jesús Palacios, Universidad de Piura
Andres Salazar, Universidad de La Sabana

Fifty years ago, educational attainment in Latin America was far better than in other developing countries. That advantage has been lost. We investigate the extent to which secondary school enrollments and progress are compromised by children not living with their biological parents and by gender inequality. Consistent with the literature on family structure and education in Northern countries, we find that biological parents in the household promote good educational outcomes for children in Latin America. Living with only one biological parent does not confer a disadvantage in every country, and we put forward possible explanations for this inconsistency. Finally, we find that girls of secondary school age are, if anything, advantaged relative to boys: overcoming obstacles for boys’ secondary schooling is a more relevant challenge for promoting productivity and health than overcoming obstacles for girls. Finally, some countries have done better at extending education into rural areas than others.

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Presented in Poster Session 4