Todd, Petra

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Now showing 1 - 4 of 4
  • Publication
    How Universal School Vouchers Affect Educational and Labor Market Outcomes: Evidence from Chile
    (2008-09-01) Bravo, David; Mukhopadhyay, Sankar; Todd, Petra E
    This paper studies the effects of school vouchers in Chile, which adopted a nationwide school voucher program 28 years ago. Chile has a relatively unregulated, decentralized, competitive market in primary and secondary education and therefore provides a unique setting in which to study how voucher programs affect school choice as well as educational attainment and labor market outcomes. This paper develops and estimates a dynamic model of schooling and work decisions using data from the 2002 Historia Laboral y Seguridad Social and the 2004 Enquesta Proteccion Social (EPS) surveys. The dataset includes rich demographic information as well as contemporaneous and retrospective schooling and work information covering a thirty-five year time frame. Some individuals in the sample completed their schooling before the voucher program was introduced, while others had the option of using the vouchers over part or all of their schooling careers. The impacts of the voucher program are identified from the differences in the schooling and work choices made and wage returns received by individuals differentially exposed to the program. Simulations based on the estimated dynamic model indicate that the school voucher program induced individuals affected by the program to attend private subsidized schools at a higher rate, achieve higher educational attainment, receive higher wages and participate more in the labor force. Returns to both public and private education increased after the introduction of vouchers. An examination of distributional effects shows that the voucher program benefitted individuals from both poor and non-poor backgrounds, but that the non-poor experienced greater benefits.
  • Publication
    Understanding Gender Disparities in STEM Major and Occupation Choices: A Random Forest Approach
    (2024-02-06) Todd, Petra; Wang, Shasha
    In the US, women for decades have gone to college at higher rates than men, but they are less likely to choose applied-STEM college majors or occupations. Using the NLSY79 and 97 datasets, this paper assesses the importance of adolescent skills and high school course-taking in explaining gender disparities in four-year college completion, college major, and occupational choice. It considers five cognitive skill areas (math, verbal, science, administrative, and mechanical) and one non-cognitive measure and examines how gender skill gaps evolve over a twenty-year time span. Logistic, CART and nonparametric random forest models are estimated to identify the skill sets, course-taking and family background characteristics that best predict educational and occupational choices. Results show that women are on average on par with men in mathematics skills and exceed men in verbal and noncognitive skills, but they lag behind in mechanical and, to a lesser extent, science skills. Estimates show that a combination of mathematics and mechanical skills along with intensive high school exposure to science and math courses are key predictors of choosing applied-STEM majors and careers. This paper also develops and implements a nonparametric decomposition approach to quantify how eliminating adolescent gender skill disparities would affect women’s and men’s entry into STEM fields.
  • Publication
    How Pension Rules Affect Work and Contribution Patterns: A Behavioral Model of the Chilean Privatized Pension System
    (2008-10-01) Todd, Petra; Vélez-Grajales, Viviana
    Chile has been at the forefront of pension reform, having switched in 1980 from a pay-as-you-go system to a fully funded privatized accounts system. The Chilean system served as a model for reform in many other Latin American countries and has also been considered by U.S. policy makers as a possible prototype for social security reform. Some of the criticisms of the Chilean system are low coverage rates and contributions rates among certain segments of the population. In 2006, the Chilean government proposed some reforms aimed at increasing coverage and contribution rates and expanding the safety net provided by the system to poor households. This study evaluates how changes in pension system rules affect working behavior and pension contribution patterns using data from a new Chilean household survey administered in 2002 and 2004 linked with administrative data from the pension regulatory agency. It develops and estimates a dynamic model of decision-making about working in the covered or uncovered sectors of the economy and studies implications for pension accumulations. The estimated model is used to simulate behavior under different pension system rules, such as a change in the number of years of contributions required for the minimum pension or a change in pension plan fees.
  • Publication
    The Chilean Pension Reform Turns 25: Lessons from the Social Protection Survey
    (2006-07-01) Behrman, Jere R; Arenas de Mesa, Alberto; Mitchell, Olivia S; Bravo, David; Todd, Petra E
    In 1980, Chile dramatically reformed its retirement system, replacing what was an old insolvent PAYGO program with a new structure that relies heavily on funded defined contribution individual accounts. In addition, eligibility and benefit requirements were standardized, and a safety net for old-age poverty was strengthened. Twenty-five years after this reform, the Chilean model is being re-assessed, in terms of coverage, contribution, investment, and retirement benefit outcomes. This paper introduces a recently-developed longitudinal survey of individual respondents in Chile, the Social Protection Survey (or Encuesta de Previsión Social, EPS), and illustrates some uses of this survey for microeconomic analysis of key aspects of the Chilean system.