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The Long-Run Impacts of Early Childhood Education: Evidence From a Failed Policy Experiment

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  • Philip DeCicca
  • Justin D. Smith

Abstract

We investigate short and long-term effects of early childhood education using variation created by a unique policy experiment in British Columbia, Canada. Our findings imply starting Kindergarten one year late substantially reduces the probability of repeating the third grade, and meaningfully increases in tenth grade math and reading scores. Effects are highest for low income students and males. Estimates suggest that entering kindergarten early may have a detrimental effect on future outcomes.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 17085.

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Date of creation: May 2011
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Publication status: published as DeCicca, Philip & Smith, Justin, 2013. "The long-run impacts of early childhood education: Evidence from a failed policy experiment," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 36(C), pages 41-59.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:17085

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  1. Thomas, D. & Currie, J., 1993. "Does Head Start Make a Difference?," Papers, Yale - Economic Growth Center 694, Yale - Economic Growth Center.
  2. Michael Baker & Jonathan Gruber & Kevin Milligan, 2005. "Universal Childcare, Maternal Labor Supply, and Family Well-Being," NBER Working Papers 11832, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Eliana Garces & Duncan Thomas & Janet Currie, 2000. "Longer Term Effects of Head Start," Working Papers, RAND Corporation Publications Department 00-20, RAND Corporation Publications Department.
  4. Patrick J. McEwan & Joseph S. Shapiro, 2008. "The Benefits of Delayed Primary School Enrollment: Discontinuity Estimates Using Exact Birth Dates," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 43(1).
  5. Cunha, Flavio & Heckman, James J. & Lochner, Lance, 2006. "Interpreting the Evidence on Life Cycle Skill Formation," Handbook of the Economics of Education, Elsevier, Elsevier.
  6. Elizabeth U. Cascio, 2009. "Do Investments in Universal Early Education Pay Off? Long-term Effects of Introducing Kindergartens into Public Schools," NBER Working Papers 14951, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. 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).
  8. Janet Currie, 2001. "Early Childhood Education Programs," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 15(2), pages 213-238, Spring.
  9. 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, MIT Press, vol. 121(4), pages 1437-1472, November.
  10. William T. Gormley, Jr. & Ted Gayer, 2005. "Promoting School Readiness in Oklahoma: An Evaluation of Tulsa's Pre-K Program," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 40(3).
  11. Chris M. Herbst & Erdal Tekin, 2010. "The Impact of Child Care Subsidies on Child Well-Being: Evidence from Geographic Variation in the Distance to Social Service Agencies," NBER Working Papers 16250, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Currie, Janet & Thomas, Duncan, 1999. "Does Head Start help hispanic children?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 74(2), pages 235-262, November.
  13. Susan Dynarski & Joshua M. Hyman & Diane Whitmore Schanzenbach, 2011. "Experimental Evidence on the Effect of Childhood Investments on Postsecondary Attainment and Degree Completion," NBER Working Papers 17533, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Katherine A. Magnuson & Christopher J. Ruhm & Jane Waldfogel, 2004. "Does Prekindergarten Improve School Preparation and Performance?," NBER Working Papers 10452, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. DeCicca, Philip, 2007. "Does full-day kindergarten matter? Evidence from the first two years of schooling," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 26(1), pages 67-82, February.
  16. Jill S. Cannon & Alison Jacknowitz & Gary Painter, 2006. "Is full better than half? Examining the longitudinal effects of full-day kindergarten attendance," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 25(2), pages 299-321.
  17. 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.
  18. Justin Smith, 2010. "How Valuable Is the Gift of Time? The Factors That Drive the Birth Date Effect in Education," Education Finance and Policy, MIT Press, vol. 5(3), pages 247-277, July.
  19. 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.
  20. Fitzpatrick Maria D, 2008. "Starting School at Four: The Effect of Universal Pre-Kindergarten on Children's Academic Achievement," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 8(1), pages 1-40, November.
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Cited by:
  1. Olivier Thévenon & Angela Luci, 2012. "Reconciling Work, Family and Child Outcomes: What Implications for Family Support Policies?," Population Research and Policy Review, Springer, vol. 31(6), pages 855-882, December.
  2. Elizabeth Dhuey & Justin Smith, 2014. "How important are school principals in the production of student achievement?," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 47(2), pages 634-663, May.
  3. Janssens, Wendy & Rosemberg, Cristina, 2014. "The impact of a Caribbean home-visiting child development program on cognitive skills," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 39(C), pages 22-37.

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