May 2008, David Rosnick and Mark Weisbrot

This paper challenges the conclusions of an econometric analysis by Daniel Ortega and Francisco Rodríguez on the effects on literacy of the Misión Robinson program in Venezuela. Their analysis concludes “most of our estimates of program impact represent qualitatively small and rarely statistically significant effects of Robinson, while some point estimates are actually negative.”

This CEPR paper shows that the econometric analysis used by Ortega and Rodríguez does not provide statistical evidence regarding the size of the Misión Robinson national literacy program in Venezuela, partly because the Household Survey data on which the authors relied are too crude a measure to make such an estimate. In addition, the statistical tests the authors used are not appropriate to test (falsify) the hypothesis that the program was a large-scale program.

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