Year of Publication:2006
Publication:American Economic Review
Colombia's PACES program provided over 125,000 poor children with vouchers that covered the cost of private secondary school. The vouchers were renewable annually conditional on adequate academic progress. Since many vouchers were assigned by lottery, program effects can reliably be assessed by comparing lottery winners and losers. Estimates using administrative records suggest the PACES program increases secondary school completion rates by 15 to 20 percent. Correcting for the greater percentage of lottery winners taking college admissions tests, the program increased test scores by two-tenths of a standard deviation in the distribution of potential test scores.