Medium-term effects of the Oportunidades program package, including nutrition, on education of rural children age 0-8 in 1997

Medium-term effects of the Oportunidades program package, including nutrition, on education of rural children age 0-8 in 1997

Evaluation of Mexican Oportunidades programme on education

This paper provides estimates of the medium-term impacts of the Oportunidades programme in rural Mexico on education for children aged 0 to 8 in 1997 just prior to the initial intervention, and those aged 6 to 14 in the 2003 Rural Evaluation Survey.

The main findings include:

  • the age group 3 to 5 in 1997 most likely did not benefit from the early nutritional intervention and also by 2003 would have only recently begun to be eligible themselves to receive Oportunidades grants. In this sense, of those analysed in this paper, they are likely the group the authors would expect to have the lowest impacts of the programme, although positive impacts might derive through the general increase in family income received the programme. There are few consistent patterns of positive effects on this age group, both using the differential exposure and the matching estimates
  • in comparison, those aged 6 to 8 in 1997 (12 to 14 in 2003) show large and positive increases in a number of schooling indicators, including years of completed schooling, the proportion progressing on time as well as the proportion entering secondary school. This group was eligible to receive grants for a majority of the programme’s duration and it is likely this and the conditionality aspect of the grants that explain the much larger impacts of the programme for this age group, relative to those aged 3 to 5 in 1997.