International migration, remittances, and schooling: evidence from El Salvador Academic Article uri icon


  • We examine the effect of remittances from abroad on households' schooling decisions using data for El Salvador. Following the massive war-related emigration of the 1980s, remittances became a significant source of household income throughout the 1990s. We use the Cox proportional hazard model to examine the determinants of school attendance. Measuring income from a source that is uncorrelated with parental schooling-remittances-, we find that remittances have a large, significant effect on school retention. We estimate that while household income net of remittances has a small, though significant, impact on the hazard of leaving school in rural and urban areas, remittances have a much larger impact on the hazard of leaving school. In urban areas, the effect of remittances is, at its smallest, 10 times the size of the effect of other income. In rural areas, the effect of remittances is about 2.6 times that of other income. Our finding is of interest in that it suggests that subsidizing school attendance, particularly in poor areas, may have a large impact on school attendance and retention, even if parents have low levels of schooling. 2003 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

published proceedings


altmetric score

  • 36

author list (cited authors)

  • Edwards, A. C., & Ureta, M.

citation count

  • 536

complete list of authors

  • Edwards, AC||Ureta, M

publication date

  • December 2003