Predicting School Dropout with Administrative Data: New Evidence from Guatemala and Honduras

Produced by: 
The World Bank
Available from: 
July 2017
Paper author(s): 
Melissa Adelman
Francisco Haimovich
Andres Ham
Emmanuel Vazquez
Education - Health

Across Latin America, school dropout is a growing concern, because of its negative social and economic consequences. Although a wide range of interventions hold potential to reduce dropout rates, policy makers in many countries must first address the basic question of how to target limited resources effectively for such interventions. Identifying who is most likely to drop out and, therefore, who should be prioritized for targeting, is a prediction problem that has been addressed in a rich set of research in countries with strong education system data. This paper makes use of newly established administrative data systems in Guatemala and Honduras, to estimate some of the first dropout prediction models for lower-middle-income countries. These models can correctly identify 80 percent of sixth grade students who will drop out in the transition to lower secondary school, performing as well as models used in the United States and providing more accurate results than other commonly used targeting approaches.


Research section: 
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