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What a difference a day makes: Estimating daily learning gains during kindergarten and first grade using a natural experiment

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  • Fitzpatrick, Maria D.
  • Grissmer, David
  • Hastedt, Sarah

Abstract

Knowing whether time spent in formal schooling increases student achievement, and by how much, is important for policymakers interested in determining efficient use of resources. Using the ECLS-K, we exploit quasi-randomness in the timing of assessment dates to examine this question. Conservative estimates suggest a year of school results in gains of about one standard deviation above normal developmental gains in both reading and math test scores. The results are statistically significant and extremely robust to specification choice, supporting quasi-randomness of test dates. Estimates of skill accumulation due to formal schooling do not vary based on socioeconomic characteristics.

Suggested Citation

  • Fitzpatrick, Maria D. & Grissmer, David & Hastedt, Sarah, 2011. "What a difference a day makes: Estimating daily learning gains during kindergarten and first grade using a natural experiment," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 30(2), pages 269-279, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ecoedu:v:30:y:2011:i:2:p:269-279
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    2. repec:zbw:espost:162940 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Hayes, Michael S. & Gershenson, Seth, 2016. "What differences a day can make: Quantile regression estimates of the distribution of daily learning gains," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 141(C), pages 48-51.
    4. Huebener, Mathias & Marcus, Jan, 2017. "Compressing instruction time into fewer years of schooling and the impact on student performance," EconStor Open Access Articles, ZBW - German National Library of Economics, pages 1-14.
    5. Dills, Angela K. & Morgan, Hillary N. & Rotthoff, Kurt W., 2011. "Recess, physical education, and elementary school student outcomes," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 30(5), pages 889-900, October.
    6. Meyer, Erik & Van Klaveren, Chris, 2013. "The effectiveness of extended day programs: Evidence from a randomized field experiment in the Netherlands," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 36(C), pages 1-11.
    7. Nikhil Jha, 2014. "Late Start with Extra Schooling: The Effect of School Entry-Age Increase and the Introduction of Preparatory Year," Melbourne Institute Working Paper Series wp2014n10, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne.
    8. Parinduri, Rasyad A., 2014. "Do children spend too much time in schools? Evidence from a longer school year in Indonesia," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 41(C), pages 89-104.
    9. repec:eee:ecoedu:v:59:y:2017:i:c:p:81-86 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. Kim, Dongwoo & Koedel, Cory & Ni, Shawn & Podgursky, Michael, 2017. "Labor market frictions and production efficiency in public schools," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 60(C), pages 54-67.
    11. Huebener, Mathias & Kuger, Susanne & Marcus, Jan, 2017. "Increased instruction hours and the widening gap in student performance," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(C), pages 15-34.
    12. McAdams, John M., 2016. "The effect of school starting age policy on crime: Evidence from U.S. microdata," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 54(C), pages 227-241.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    School resources Natural experiment School year length;

    JEL classification:

    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education
    • I28 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Government Policy

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