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Effects of age at school entry (ASE) on the development of non-cognitive skills: Evidence from psychometric data

  • Mühlenweg, Andrea
  • Blomeyer, Dorothea
  • Stichnoth, Holger
  • Laucht, Manfred

We identify effects of age at school entry (ASE) on the development of child temperament. Our analysis is based on psychometric measures from a longitudinal cohort study of children in the Rhine-Neckar region in central Germany. In children with a higher ASE due to a birthday late in the year, we find more favorable outcomes with respect to several temperamental dimensions: these children are more persistent and less often hyperactive. The findings are robust if we control for the respective temperamental dimension before entering school. We also show that the ASE effect on persistence is stable over time by comparing the children at age eight and age eleven, after the children have entered Germany's segregated secondary-school tracks. At age eleven, we additionally find significant ASE effects on adaptability to change. Overall, the results point to a high degree of malleability in the considered non-cognitive skills after school entrance. By contrast, we do not find a significant effect of ASE on cognitive skills as measured by IQ.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Economics of Education Review.

Volume (Year): 31 (2012)
Issue (Month): 3 ()
Pages: 68-76

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Handle: RePEc:eee:ecoedu:v:31:y:2012:i:3:p:68-76
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/econedurev

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  1. Elizabeth Dhuey & Stephen Lipscomb, 2010. "Disabled or Young Relative Age and Special Education Diagnoses in Schools," Mathematica Policy Research Reports decdd44a894e4c97b6afe31e4, Mathematica Policy Research.
  2. Andrea M. Mühlenweg & Patrick A. Puhani, 2010. "The Evolution of the School-Entry Age Effect in a School Tracking System," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 45(2).
  3. repec:mpr:mprres:6738 is not listed on IDEAS
  4. 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, vol. 121(4), pages 1437-1472, November.
  5. Dhuey, Elizabeth & Lipscomb, Stephen, 2008. "What makes a leader? Relative age and high school leadership," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 27(2), pages 173-183, April.
  6. Cunha, Flavio & Heckman, James J. & Lochner, Lance, 2006. "Interpreting the Evidence on Life Cycle Skill Formation," Handbook of the Economics of Education, Elsevier.
  7. Black, Sandra E. & Devereux, Paul J. & Salvanes, Kjell G., 2008. "Too Young to Leave the Nest? The Effects of School Starting Age," IZA Discussion Papers 3452, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  8. Dickert-Conlin, Stacy & Elder, Todd, 2010. "Suburban legend: School cutoff dates and the timing of births," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 29(5), pages 826-841, October.
  9. Fredriksson, Peter & Öckert, Björn, 2006. "Is early learning really more productive? The effect of school starting age on school and labor market performance," Working Paper Series 2006:12, IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy.
  10. 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).
  11. Elder, Todd E., 2010. "The importance of relative standards in ADHD diagnoses: Evidence based on exact birth dates," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(5), pages 641-656, September.
  12. Evans, William N. & Morrill, Melinda S. & Parente, Stephen T., 2010. "Measuring inappropriate medical diagnosis and treatment in survey data: The case of ADHD among school-age children," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(5), pages 657-673, September.
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