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Can Regression Discontinuity Help Answer an Age-Old Question in Education? The Effect of Age on Elementary and Secondary School Achievement

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  • Smith Justin

    () (University of Manitoba)

Abstract

Single-date school entry systems create large age differences between children in the same grade. Older students have been shown in the literature to outperform younger students along many elementary school outcomes, and some post-schooling outcomes. Little evidence exists about the size of these advantages in high school. Data from British Columbia, Canada are used to estimate the effect of age on test scores in grades 4, 7, and 10. I estimate that older students still have a sizable skill advantage in grade 10 across numeracy, reading, and writing tests. The advantage is strongest for girls and low-income students. The results suggest a certain degree of permanence to age related skill differences, which may spill over and affect adult outcomes.

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:bpj:bejeap:v:9:y:2009:i:1:n:48
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Görlitz, Katja & Penny, Merlin & Tamm, Marcus, 2019. "The long-term effect of age at school entry on competencies in adulthood," Ruhr Economic Papers 792, RWI - Leibniz-Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-University Bochum, TU Dortmund University, University of Duisburg-Essen.
    2. 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.
    3. repec:eee:joepsy:v:63:y:2017:i:c:p:43-81 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. 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.
    5. Hemelt, Steven W. & Rosen, Rachel B., 2016. "School Entry, Compulsory Schooling, and Human Capital Accumulation: Evidence from Michigan," IZA Discussion Papers 9889, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    6. Lionel Page & Dipanwita Sarkar & Juliana Silva-Goncalves, 2018. "Long-lasting effects of relative age at school," QuBE Working Papers 056, QUT Business School.
    7. Ponzo, Michela & Scoppa, Vincenzo, 2014. "The long-lasting effects of school entry age: Evidence from Italian students," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 36(3), pages 578-599.
    8. Claire Crawford & Lorraine Dearden & Ellen Greaves, 2013. "The impact of age within academic year on adult outcomes," IFS Working Papers W13/07, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
    9. Piza, Caio & Souza, André Portela Fernandes de, 2016. "Short and long-term effects of a child-labor ban," Textos para discussão 428, FGV EESP - Escola de Economia de São Paulo, Fundação Getulio Vargas (Brazil).
    10. Claire Crawford & Lorraine Dearden & Ellen Greaves, 2013. "Identifying the drivers of month of birth differences in educational attainment," DoQSS Working Papers 13-07, Department of Quantitative Social Science - UCL Institute of Education, University College London.
    11. repec:bla:asiaps:v:4:y:2017:i:3:p:586-601 is not listed on IDEAS
    12. Suziedelyte, Agne & Zhu, Anna, 2015. "Does early schooling narrow outcome gaps for advantaged and disadvantaged children?," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 45(C), pages 76-88.
    13. Luís Martins & Manuel Coutinho Pereira, 2017. "Disentangling the channels from birthdate to educational attainment," Working Papers w201706, Banco de Portugal, Economics and Research Department.
    14. Lionel Page & Dipanwita Sarkar & Juliana S. Goncalves, 2015. "The older the bolder? Does relative age among peers influence children's confidence and risk attitudes?," QuBE Working Papers 029, QUT Business School.
    15. Mazzutti, Caio Cícero Toledo Piza da Costa, 2016. "Three essays on the causal impacts of child labour laws in Brazil," Economics PhD Theses 0616, Department of Economics, University of Sussex Business School.
    16. Dhuey, Elizabeth & Lipscomb, Stephen, 2010. "Disabled or young? Relative age and special education diagnoses in schools," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 29(5), pages 857-872, October.
    17. Marie Connolly & Catherine Haeck, 2018. "Le lien entre la taille des classes et les compétences cognitives et non cognitives," CIRANO Project Reports 2018rp-18, CIRANO.
    18. Hart, Robert A. & Moro, Mirko, 2017. "Date of Birth and Selective Schooling," IZA Discussion Papers 10949, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    19. Chen, Qihui, 2015. "Ready for school? Impacts of delayed primary school enrollment on children's educational outcomes in rural China," International Journal of Educational Development, Elsevier, vol. 45(C), pages 112-128.
    20. repec:spr:soinre:v:138:y:2018:i:3:d:10.1007_s11205-017-1701-6 is not listed on IDEAS
    21. Claire Crawford & Lorraine Dearden & Ellen Greaves, 2014. "The drivers of month-of-birth differences in children's cognitive and non-cognitive skills," Journal of the Royal Statistical Society Series A, Royal Statistical Society, vol. 177(4), pages 829-860, October.

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