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Does prekindergarten improve school preparation and performance?

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  • Magnuson, Katherine A.
  • Ruhm, Christopher
  • Waldfogel, Jane

Abstract

Prekindergarten programs are expanding rapidly, but to date, evidence on their effects is quite limited. Using rich data from Early Childhood Longitudinal Study, we estimate the effects of prekindergarten on children's school readiness. We find that prekindergarten increases reading and mathematics skills at school entry, but also increases behavioral problems and reduces self-control. Furthermore, the effects of prekindergarten on skills largely dissipate by the spring of first grade, although the behavioral effects do not. Finally, effects differ depending on children's family background and subsequent schooling, with the largest and most lasting academic gains for disadvantaged children and those attending schools with low levels of academic instruction.

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File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/B6VB9-4KCRSM8-1/2/eb214bca8414f4b1b4c44679dcf84f86
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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Economics of Education Review.

Volume (Year): 26 (2007)
Issue (Month): 1 (February)
Pages: 33-51

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Handle: RePEc:eee:ecoedu:v:26:y:2007:i:1:p:33-51

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/econedurev

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  1. Jennifer Hill & Jane Waldfogel & Jeanne Brooks-Gunn, 2002. "Differential effects of high-quality child care," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 21(4), pages 601-627.
  2. Janet Currie & Duncan Thomas, 2000. "School Quality and the Longer-Term Effects of Head Start," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 35(4), pages 755-774.
  3. James Heckman & Pedro Carneiro, 2003. "Human Capital Policy," NBER Working Papers 9495, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Eliana Garces & Duncan Thomas & Janet Currie, 2000. "Longer Term Effects of Head Start," NBER Working Papers 8054, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Currie, J. & Thomas, D., 1995. "Does Head Start make a Difference?," Papers 95-10, RAND - Reprint Series.
  6. Jane Waldfogel, 2002. "Child care, women's employment, and child outcomes," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 15(3), pages 527-548.
  7. Murphy, Kevin M & Topel, Robert H, 2002. "Estimation and Inference in Two-Step Econometric Models," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 20(1), pages 88-97, January.
  8. Roland G. Fryer & Steven D. Levitt, 2004. "Understanding the Black-White Test Score Gap in the First Two Years of School," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 86(2), pages 447-464, May.
  9. Alan B. Krueger, 2002. "Economic Considerations and Class Size," NBER Working Papers 8875, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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