Beyond Financial Resources: The Role of Parents’ Education in Predicting Children’s Educational Persistence in Mexico

Melissa Alcaraz , The Ohio State University

Despite significant educational expansion in recent decades, Mexico’s educational attainment rates are relatively low. Though primary school enrollment is at nearly 100%, less than half of adults ages 18-29 have finished upper secondary school. The current study examines how family-level factors, including parental education and household wealth, influence the likelihood of children dropping out of school early in Mexico. This article examines the role of both mother’s and father’s education in predicting children’s educational persistence – and how this varies for boys and girls – using data from the Encuesta Nacional de Deserción en la Educación Media Superior (n=12,982), a nationally representative sample of high school aged youth in Mexico. Results indicate that increases in parental education decrease the likelihood of children dropping out, even when controlling for financial resources and other family-level characteristics. Notably, mother’s education appears to have distinct and additive effects on their children’s educational persistence.

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 Presented in Session 8. Economy, Labor Force, Education, & Inequality