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School based management effects: Resources or governance change? Evidence from Mexico

, RAND, United States ; , Fundación IDEA, Mexico ; , Mexicanos Primero and Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México (ITAM), Mexico

Economics of Education Review Volume 39, Number 1, ISSN 0272-7757 Publisher: Elsevier Ltd


In their struggle to improve student learning, many developing countries are introducing school-based management (SBM) reforms that provide cash-grants to school councils. School councils are expected to work collaboratively and decide on the best use of the funds. In this paper, we study the effects of one such program in Mexico on student outcomes. We complement the differences-in-differences analysis by qualitatively exploring program implementation. Results suggest the program had substantial positive effects on third grade Spanish test scores, with most benefits accruing to schools receiving SBM cash grants for the first time. These results are robust to alternative model specifications. The implementation analysis suggests school councils did monitor grant use, but parental participation did not significantly improve in other areas. Our findings suggest that the observed positive program effects are likely to be the result of providing schools with financial resources to meet pressing equipment, material, and infrastructure needs.


Santibañez, L., Abreu-Lastra, R. & O’Donoghue, J.L. (2014). School based management effects: Resources or governance change? Evidence from Mexico. Economics of Education Review, 39(1), 97-109. Elsevier Ltd. Retrieved February 1, 2023 from .

This record was imported from Economics of Education Review on March 1, 2019. Economics of Education Review is a publication of Elsevier.

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