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Disabled or Young? Relative Age and Special Education Diagnoses in Schools

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  • Elizabeth Dhuey
  • Stephen Lipscomb

Abstract

This study extends recent findings of a relationship between the relative age of students among their peers and their probability of disability classification. Using three nationally representative surveys spanning 1988-2004 and grades K-10, we find that an additional month of relative age decreases the likelihood of receiving special education services by 2-5 percent. Relative age effects are strong for learning disabilities but not for other disabilities. We measure them for boys starting in kindergarten but not for girls until 3rd grade. We also measure them for white and Hispanic students but not for black students or differentially by socioeconomic quartiles. Results are consistent with the interpretation that disability assessments do not screen for the possibility that relatively young students are over-referred for evaluation. Lastly, we present suggestive evidence that math achievement gains due to disability classification may differentially benefit relatively young students.

(This abstract was borrowed from another version of this item.)

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Mathematica Policy Research in its series Mathematica Policy Research Reports with number 6738.

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Length: 17
Date of creation: 30 Oct 2010
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:mpr:mprres:6738

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Postal: Mathematica Policy Research P.O. Box 2393 Princeton, NJ 08543-2393 Attn: Communications
Fax: (609) 799-0005
Web page: http://www.mathematica-mpr.com/
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Related research

Keywords: Relative age; Special Education;

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References

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  1. Fredriksson, Peter & Öckert, Björn, 2006. "Is early learning really more productive? The effect of school starting age on school and labor market performance," Working Paper Series 2006:12, IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy.
  2. Chaikind, Stephen & Corman, Hope, 1991. "The impact of low birthweight on special education costs," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 10(3), pages 291-311, October.
  3. Eric A. Hanushek & John F. Kain & Steven G. Rivkin, 2002. "Inferring Program Effects for Special Populations: Does Special Education Raise Achievement for Students with Disabilities?," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 84(4), pages 584-599, November.
  4. Michael Fertig & Jochen Kluve, 2005. "The Effect of Age at School Entry on Educational Attainment in Germany," RWI Discussion Papers 0027, Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung.
  5. Sandra E. Black & Paul J. Devereux & Kjell G. Salvanes, 2011. "Too Young to Leave the Nest? The Effects of School Starting Age," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 93(2), pages 455-467, May.
  6. Sally Kwak, 2010. "The Impact of I ntergovern mental Incentives on Student Disability Rates," Public Finance Review, , vol. 38(1), pages 41-73, January.
  7. Dobkin, Carlos & Ferreira, Fernando, 2010. "Do school entry laws affect educational attainment and labor market outcomes?," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 40-54, February.
  8. Julie Berry Cullen & Randall Reback, 2006. "Tinkering Toward Accolades: School Gaming Under a Performance Accountability System," NBER Working Papers 12286, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Cullen, Julie Berry, 2003. "The impact of fiscal incentives on student disability rates," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(7-8), pages 1557-1589, August.
  10. Datar, Ashlesha, 2006. "Does delaying kindergarten entrance give children a head start?," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 25(1), pages 43-62, February.
  11. Dhuey, Elizabeth & Lipscomb, Stephen, 2008. "What makes a leader? Relative age and high school leadership," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 27(2), pages 173-183, April.
  12. Duncombe, William & Yinger, John, 2005. "How much more does a disadvantaged student cost?," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 24(5), pages 513-532, October.
  13. Claire Crawford & Lorraine Dearden & Costas Meghir, 2007. "When You Are Born Matters: The Imapct of Date of Birth on Child Cognitive Outcomes in England," CEE Discussion Papers 0093, Centre for the Economics of Education, LSE.
  14. Todd E. Elder & Darren H. Lubotsky, 2009. "Kindergarten Entrance Age and Children’s Achievement: Impacts of State Policies, Family Background, and Peers," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 44(3).
  15. Smith Justin, 2009. "Can Regression Discontinuity Help Answer an Age-Old Question in Education? The Effect of Age on Elementary and Secondary School Achievement," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 9(1), pages 1-30, November.
  16. Patrick Puhani & Andrea Weber, 2007. "Does the early bird catch the worm?," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 32(2), pages 359-386, May.
  17. Kelly Bedard & Elizabeth Dhuey, 2006. "The Persistence of Early Childhood Maturity: International Evidence of Long-Run Age Effects," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 121(4), pages 1437-1472, November.
  18. Corman, Hope & Chaikind, Stephen, 1998. "The effect of low birthweight on the school performance and behavior of school-aged children," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 17(3), pages 307-316, June.
  19. Kelly Bedard & Elizabeth Dhuey, 2012. "School-Entry Policies and Skill Accumulation Across Directly and Indirectly Affected Individuals," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 47(3), pages 643-683.
  20. Jason Fletcher, 2010. "Spillover effects of inclusion of classmates with emotional problems on test scores in early elementary school," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 29(1), pages 69-83.
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Cited by:
  1. Cheatham, Gregory A. & Elliott, William, 2013. "The effects of family college savings on postsecondary school enrollment rates of students with disabilities," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 33(C), pages 95-111.
  2. Claire Crawford & Lorraine Dearden & Ellen Greaves, 2013. "The drivers of month of birth differences in children's cognitive and non-cognitive skills: a regression discontinuity analysis," DoQSS Working Papers 13-06, Department of Quantitative Social Science - Institute of Education, University of London.
  3. Robertson, Erin, 2011. "The effects of quarter of birth on academic outcomes at the elementary school level," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 30(2), pages 300-311, April.
  4. Claire Crawford & Lorraine Dearden & Ellen Greaves, 2013. "The drivers of month of birth differences in children's cognitive and non-cognitive skills: a regression discontinuity analysis," IFS Working Papers W13/08, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  5. Mühlenweg, Andrea & Blomeyer, Dorothea & Stichnoth, Holger & Laucht, Manfred, 2012. "Effects of age at school entry (ASE) on the development of non-cognitive skills: Evidence from psychometric data," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 31(3), pages 68-76.
  6. McGee, Andrew, 2011. "Skills, standards, and disabilities: How youth with learning disabilities fare in high school and beyond," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 30(1), pages 109-129, February.
  7. Keslair, Francois & Maurin, Eric & McNally, Sandra, 2012. "Every child matters? An evaluation of “Special Educational Needs” programmes in England," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 31(6), pages 932-948.

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