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Reading enjoyment and reading skills: Lessons from an experiment with first grade children

Author

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  • Goux, Dominique
  • Gurgand, Marc
  • Maurin, Eric

Abstract

We consider a very intensive program targeted at low performing first graders identified by teachers as lacking appropriate parental support at home. The ambition of the program is to convey these children the daily contact with books that they may lack at home in order to develop their taste for reading and, eventually, their reading skills. Based on a controlled experiment in 109 French schools from deprived areas, we do find that taste for reading is significantly improved. However, there is no indication that this translates into higher reading skills, neither during the program year, nor during the next year.

Suggested Citation

  • Goux, Dominique & Gurgand, Marc & Maurin, Eric, 2017. "Reading enjoyment and reading skills: Lessons from an experiment with first grade children," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 45(C), pages 17-25.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:labeco:v:45:y:2017:i:c:p:17-25
    DOI: 10.1016/j.labeco.2016.09.007
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Peter Fredriksson & Björn Öckert & Hessel Oosterbeek, 2016. "Parental Responses to Public Investments in Children: Evidence from a Maximum Class Size Rule," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 51(4), pages 832-868.
    2. James Heckman & Rodrigo Pinto & Peter Savelyev, 2013. "Understanding the Mechanisms through Which an Influential Early Childhood Program Boosted Adult Outcomes," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 103(6), pages 2052-2086, October.
    3. Bénabou, Roland & Kramarz, Francis & Prost, Corinne, 2009. "The French zones d'éducation prioritaire: Much ado about nothing?," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 28(3), pages 345-356, June.
    4. Almond, Douglas & Currie, Janet, 2011. "Human Capital Development before Age Five," Handbook of Labor Economics, Elsevier.
    5. Kalb, Guyonne & van Ours, Jan C., 2014. "Reading to young children: A head-start in life?," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 40(C), pages 1-24.
    6. Francesco Avvisati & Marc Gurgand & Nina Guyon & Eric Maurin, 2014. "Getting Parents Involved: A Field Experiment in Deprived Schools," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 81(1), pages 57-83.
    7. repec:mpr:mprres:5039 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Gelber, Alexander & Isen, Adam, 2013. "Children's schooling and parents' behavior: Evidence from the Head Start Impact Study," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 101(C), pages 25-38.
    9. Ama Baafra Abeberese & Todd J. Kumler & Leigh L. Linden, 2014. "Improving Reading Skills by Encouraging Children to Read in School:: A Randomized Evaluation of the Sa Aklat Sisikat Reading Program in the Philippines," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 49(3), pages 611-633.
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