Reading between the lines: A closer look at the effectiveness of early childhood education policy to reduce inequality in Argentina
AbstractThis study looks more closely at Argentina’s early childhood education policy, to determine whether it “ensures quality education and equal opportunities, without regional disparities and socio-economic inequities” –the main purpose of education policy in that country. In particular, the study examines how public kindergartens’ effect on children’s early literacy development compares to the effect of their alternative, private kindergartens. Panel data collected between 2004 and 2006 by Argentina’s urban household survey is used to estimate a logit model for the probability of knowing how to read and write by the end of first grade. Estimations take into consideration the complex design of the survey data employed. The validity of the results obtained is further checked by the use of quasi-experimental econometric techniques. The study finds that, net of important individual, family, community and geographic characteristics, attending a public kindergarten has some effect on the probability that a child will know how to read and write by the end of first grade, but attending a private kindergarten has a more substantial effect on this probability. In turn, the analysis finds that knowing how to read and write by the end of first grade reduces the probability of repeating that grade. Perhaps more worryingly, the quality gap between public and private kindergartens is found to be larger in the poorest regions of the country, as well as among the poorest families. These findings are relevant to education policymaking in Argentina, where efforts have focused on expanding the coverage of preschool services, largely disregarding that there is a fundamental problem of unequal opportunities among children in terms of access to high-quality early childhood education. Specific policy recommendations that could improve the quality of public preschools are suggested, taking into account the political difficulty to introduce profound reforms in the education system.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 13875.
Date of creation: May 2008
Date of revision: May 2008
early childhood education; Argentina; education quality; public preschool; private preschool; education inequality;
Other versions of this item:
- Paglayan, Agustina S., 2008. "Reading between the lines: A closer look at the effectiveness of early childhood education policy to reduce inequality in Argentina," MPRA Paper 17899, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised May 2009.
- I2 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education
- I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education
- I28 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Government Policy
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2009-03-14 (All new papers)
- NEP-DEV-2009-03-14 (Development)
- NEP-LAB-2009-03-14 (Labour Economics)
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- James J. Heckman, 2000.
"Policies to Foster Human Capital,"
JCPR Working Papers
154, Northwestern University/University of Chicago Joint Center for Poverty Research.
- Schady, Norbert, 2006.
"Early childhood development in Latin America and the Caribbean,"
Policy Research Working Paper Series
3869, The World Bank.
- Norbert Schady, 2006. "Early Childhood Development in Latin America and the Caribbean," Journal of LACEA Economia, LACEA - LATIN AMERICAN AND CARIBBEAN ECONOMIC ASSOCIATION.
- Janet Currie, 2001. "Early Childhood Education Programs," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 15(2), pages 213-238, Spring.
- Samuel Berlinski & Sebastian Galiani, 2004.
"The effect of a large expansion of pre-primary school facilities on preschool attendance and maternal employment,"
IFS Working Papers
W04/30, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
- Berlinski, Samuel & Galiani, Sebastian, 2007. "The effect of a large expansion of pre-primary school facilities on preschool attendance and maternal employment," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 14(3), pages 665-680, June.
- Sebastian Galiani & Samuel Berlinski, 2005. "The Effect of a Large Expansion of Pre-Primary School Facilities on Preschool Attendance and Maternal Employment," Working Papers 77, Universidad de San Andres, Departamento de Economia, revised Aug 2005.
- Berlinski, Samuel & Galiani, Sebastian & Gertler, Paul, 2009.
"The effect of pre-primary education on primary school performance,"
Journal of Public Economics,
Elsevier, vol. 93(1-2), pages 219-234, February.
- Samuel Berlinski & Sebastian Galiani & Paul Gertler, 2006. "The effect of pre-primary education on primary school performance," IFS Working Papers W06/04, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
- Samuel Berlinski & Sebastian Galiani & Paul Gertler, 2006. "The Effect of Pre-Primary Education on Primary School Performance," William Davidson Institute Working Papers Series wp838, William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan.
- Cunha, Flavio & Heckman, James J. & Lochner, Lance & Masterov, Dimitriy V., 2005.
"Interpreting the Evidence on Life Cycle Skill Formation,"
IZA Discussion Papers
1675, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
- Cunha, Flavio & Heckman, James J. & Lochner, Lance, 2006. "Interpreting the Evidence on Life Cycle Skill Formation," Handbook of the Economics of Education, Elsevier.
- Flavio Cunha & James J. Heckman & Lance Lochner & Dimitriy V. Masterov, 2005. "Interpreting the Evidence on Life Cycle Skill Formation," NBER Working Papers 11331, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Ruthanne Deutsch, 1998. "How Early Childhood Interventions Can Reduce Inequality: An Overview of Recent Findings," IDB Publications 50998, Inter-American Development Bank.
- Jere R. Behrman & Yingmei Cheng & Petra E. Todd, 2004. "Evaluating Preschool Programs When Length of Exposure to the Program Varies: A Nonparametric Approach," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 86(1), pages 108-132, February.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Ekkehart Schlicht).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.