The Effects of Number of Births on Educational Outcomes: A Regional-Level Comparative Study of Peru
Abstract: Learning attainments of children in Peru have remained at low levels according to international assessment. The country has carried out several educational policies from different perspectives aiming to raise the school achievements of students in primary and secondary education, nevertheless the levels of satisfactory attainments at the regional level show severe contrast between less and more competitive regions. This thesis aims to examine if the regional average number of births per woman has some influence on the regional level of satisfactory learning attainments of students in the 2nd grade of primary school, which means that they are fully prepared to undertake the following school grade. Satisfactory learning attainments are considered in this research as the main objectives within the educational progress, both in reading and mathematics skills. The study considers the percentage of students with satisfactory reading and mathematics levels as outcome variables, and regional average number of births, years of schooling, and age of women as explanatory variables; while it also includes a regional differentiation to assess whether the relationship between regional average number of births and learning achievements is stronger in less competitive regions or in more competitive ones. The major findings suggest that there is a statistically significant negative association between the average number of births at the regional level and the satisfactory learning attainments, with stronger effects in relation to children’s reading skills. The regional average years of schooling of women showed a significant positive association with the reading attainments but not with the mathematics; whereas, the regional average age of women had a positive significant relationship with the reading and mathematics attainments. Lastly, the effects of the regional average number of births per woman were greater in less competitive regions for both subjects: reading and mathematics.
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