Date of Graduation

Spring 5-22-2015

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in International and Development Economics (MSIDEC)


College of Arts and Sciences



First Advisor

Jesse K. Anttila-Hughes


The effect that migrant remittances have on school enrollment is a challenging relationship to empirically define, requiring both an analysis of the circumstances that lead a household member to emigrate from their home and equally, but not always independently, how the family makes investment decisions in the education of one or more of their children. This study presents a new strategy to determine the nature of this relationship for households in El Salvador, using a 2SLS estimation with a wealth-stratified panel constructed from household survey data over a nine-year period. Employing this methodology to estimate the combined effects of both migration and remittances, I find a 0.15% increase in average state enrollment for every percent change in the number of migrants, with a moderate effect for public schools and larger relative effect for private schooling (0.14% vs. 0.43% respectively). Remittances on the other hand only influence private school enrolment, where a percent increase in remittances leads to 0.37% increase in average enrolment within a state, driven principally by higher enrolments among lower-wealth Salvadorans at the grade school level. The comparison of these results to yearly cross-section estimates suggests that the stratified panel is more reliable, being less susceptible to bias that arises from weak instruments and omitted trends.