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Giving Children a Better Start: Preschool Attendance and School-Age Profiles

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  • Samuel Berlinski

    ()
    (University College London and Institute for Fiscal Studies)

  • Sebastian Galiani

    ()
    (Washington University)

  • Marco Manacorda

    ()
    (Queen Mary, University of London, CEP (LSE) and CEPR)

Abstract

We study the effect of pre-primary education on children's subsequent school outcomes by exploiting a unique feature of the Uruguayan household survey (ECH) that collects retrospective information on preschool attendance in the context of a rapid expansion in the supply of pre-primary places. Using a within household estimator, we find small gains from preschool attendance at early ages that magnify as children grow up. By age 15, treated children have accumulated 0.8 extra years of education and are 27 percentage points more likely to be in school compared to their untreated siblings. Instrumental variables estimates that control for non random selection of siblings into pre-school lead to similar results. We speculate that early grade repetition harms subsequent school progression and that pre-primary education appears as a successful policy option to prevent early grade failure and its long lasting consequences.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Queen Mary, University of London, School of Economics and Finance in its series Working Papers with number 618.

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Date of creation: Oct 2007
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Handle: RePEc:qmw:qmwecw:wp618

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Keywords: Preschool; Pre-primary education; Primary school performance;

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  1. 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.
  2. Janet Currie, 2001. "Early Childhood Education Programs," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 15(2), pages 213-238, Spring.
  3. Garces, E. & Thomas, D. & Currie, J., 2000. "Longer Term Effects of Head Start," Papers 00-20, RAND - Labor and Population Program.
  4. Currie, J & Thomas, D, 1996. "Does Head Start Help Hispanic Children?," Papers 96-17, RAND - Labor and Population Program.
  5. 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.
  6. Janet Currie & Duncan Thomas, 1993. "Does Head Start Make a Difference?," NBER Working Papers 4406, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. 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.
  8. Carneiro, Pedro & Heckman, James J., 2003. "Human Capital Policy," IZA Discussion Papers 821, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  9. Esther Duflo, 2001. "Schooling and Labor Market Consequences of School Construction in Indonesia: Evidence from an Unusual Policy Experiment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(4), pages 795-813, September.
  10. Robert J. Barro & Jong-Wha Lee, 2000. "International Data on Educational Attainment: Updates and Implications," CID Working Papers 42, Center for International Development at Harvard University.
  11. Michael Anderson, 2005. "Uncovering Gender Differences in the Effects of Early Intervention: A Reevaluation of the Abecedarian, Perry Preschool, and Early Training Projects," HEW 0509008, EconWPA, revised 26 Sep 2005.
  12. 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).
  13. Jonah B. Gelbach, 2002. "Public Schooling for Young Children and Maternal Labor Supply," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(1), pages 307-322, March.
  14. Blau, David & Currie, Janet, 2006. "Pre-School, Day Care, and After-School Care: Who's Minding the Kids?," Handbook of the Economics of Education, Elsevier.
  15. James J. Heckman & Jora Stixrud & Sergio Urzua, 2006. "The Effects of Cognitive and Noncognitive Abilities on Labor Market Outcomes and Social Behavior," NBER Working Papers 12006, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. Card, David, 1999. "The causal effect of education on earnings," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 30, pages 1801-1863 Elsevier.
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