IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/eee/wdevel/v130y2020ics0305750x20300504.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Starting early and staying longer: The effects of a Brazilian primary schooling reform on student performance

Author

Listed:
  • Ryu, Hanbyul
  • Helfand, Steven M.
  • Moreira, Roni Barbosa

Abstract

Despite its relevance for policy, there is limited evidence on the impact of lowering school entry age and increasing the length of primary education on student performance. This study examines these changes in the context of Brazil’s 2006 compulsory schooling reform. We exploit differences in the years that schools adopted the policy as a plausibly exogenous source of variation and use students’ birth months to predict school entry age. The overall impact of the policy package was to increase math and Portuguese test scores by approximately 0.11 and 0.06 standard deviations in students’ fifth and ninth year of school. Among the students who entered primary school one year earlier, those without any prior education experienced larger increases in their fifth year test scores compared to students who gained an additional year of primary education at the expense of preschool. This advantage, however, became smaller by their ninth year. We discuss different mechanisms through which the policy may have influenced student performance and conduct various robustness checks that lend support to the paper’s interpretation.

Suggested Citation

  • Ryu, Hanbyul & Helfand, Steven M. & Moreira, Roni Barbosa, 2020. "Starting early and staying longer: The effects of a Brazilian primary schooling reform on student performance," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 130(C).
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:wdevel:v:130:y:2020:i:c:s0305750x20300504
    DOI: 10.1016/j.worlddev.2020.104924
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0305750X20300504
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    File URL: https://libkey.io/10.1016/j.worlddev.2020.104924?utm_source=ideas
    LibKey link: if access is restricted and if your library uses this service, LibKey will redirect you to where you can use your library subscription to access this item
    ---><---

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Huebener, Mathias & Kuger, Susanne & Marcus, Jan, 2017. "Increased instruction hours and the widening gap in student performance," EconStor Open Access Articles and Book Chapters, ZBW - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics, pages 15-34.
    2. Rosa, Leonardo & Martins, Marcelo & Carnoy, Martin, 2019. "Achievement gains from reconfiguring early schooling: The case of Brazil's primary education reform," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 68(C), pages 1-12.
    3. Patrick M. Emerson & Vladimir Ponczek & André Portela Souza, 2017. "Child Labor and Learning," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 65(2), pages 265-296.
    4. Patrick M. Emerson & André Portela Souza, 2011. "Is Child Labor Harmful? The Impact of Working Earlier in Life on Adult Earnings," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 59(2), pages 345-385.
    5. Harry Krashinsky, 2014. "How Would One Extra Year of High School Affect Academic Performance in University? Evidence from an Educational Policy Change," Canadian Journal of Economics/Revue canadienne d'économique, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 47(1), pages 70-97, February.
    6. James Heckman & Flavio Cunha, 2007. "The Technology of Skill Formation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(2), pages 31-47, May.
    7. Glewwe, Paul & Kassouf, Ana Lucia, 2012. "The impact of the Bolsa Escola/Familia conditional cash transfer program on enrollment, dropout rates and grade promotion in Brazil," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 97(2), pages 505-517.
    8. Paulo Bastos & Nicolas L. Bottan & Julian Cristia, 2017. "Access to Preprimary Education and Progression in Primary School: Evidence from Rural Guatemala," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 65(3), pages 521-547.
    9. Peter Fredriksson & Björn Öckert, 2014. "Life‐cycle Effects of Age at School Start," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 124(579), pages 977-1004, September.
    10. Patrick A. Puhani & Andrea M. Weber, 2008. "Does the early bird catch the worm?," Studies in Empirical Economics, in: Christian Dustmann & Bernd Fitzenberger & Stephen Machin (ed.), The Economics of Education and Training, pages 105-132, Springer.
    11. Sandra E. Black & Paul J. Devereux & Kjell G. Salvanes, 2011. "Too Young to Leave the Nest? The Effects of School Starting Age," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 93(2), pages 455-467, May.
    12. Apps, Patricia & Mendolia, Silvia & Walker, Ian, 2013. "The impact of pre-school on adolescents’ outcomes: Evidence from a recent English cohort," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 37(C), pages 183-199.
    13. Steven G. Rivkin & Jeffrey C. Schiman, 2015. "Instruction Time, Classroom Quality, and Academic Achievement," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 125(588), pages 425-448, November.
    14. 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.
    15. Esther Duflo & Pascaline Dupas & Michael Kremer, 2011. "Peer Effects, Teacher Incentives, and the Impact of Tracking: Evidence from a Randomized Evaluation in Kenya," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(5), pages 1739-1774, August.
    16. Victor Lavy, 2015. "Do Differences in Schools' Instruction Time Explain International Achievement Gaps? Evidence from Developed and Developing Countries," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 125(588), pages 397-424, November.
    17. Flavio Cunha & James J. Heckman & Susanne M. Schennach, 2010. "Estimating the Technology of Cognitive and Noncognitive Skill Formation," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 78(3), pages 883-931, May.
    18. Fertig, Michael & Kluve, Jochen, 2005. "The Effect of Age at School Entry on Educational Attainment in Germany," IZA Discussion Papers 1507, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    19. Leuven, Edwin & Lindahl, Mikael & Oosterbeek, Hessel & Webbink, Dinand, 2010. "Expanding schooling opportunities for 4-year-olds," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 29(3), pages 319-328, June.
    20. Dobkin, Carlos & Ferreira, Fernando, 2010. "Do school entry laws affect educational attainment and labor market outcomes?," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 40-54, February.
    21. 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.
    22. Dahmann, Sarah C., 2017. "How does education improve cognitive skills? Instructional time versus timing of instruction," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(C), pages 35-47.
    23. Berlinski, Samuel & Galiani, Sebastian & Manacorda, Marco, 2008. "Giving children a better start: Preschool attendance and school-age profiles," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(5-6), pages 1416-1440, June.
    24. Steven G. Rivkin & Jeffrey C. Schiman, 2015. "Instruction Time, Classroom Quality, and Academic Achievement," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 0(588), pages 425-448, November.
    25. Cunha, Flavio & Heckman, James J. & Lochner, Lance, 2006. "Interpreting the Evidence on Life Cycle Skill Formation," Handbook of the Economics of Education, in: Erik Hanushek & F. Welch (ed.), Handbook of the Economics of Education, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 12, pages 697-812, Elsevier.
    26. Arteaga, Irma & Humpage, Sarah & Reynolds, Arthur J. & Temple, Judy A., 2014. "One year of preschool or two: Is it important for adult outcomes?," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 40(C), pages 221-237.
    27. Kelly Bedard & Elizabeth Dhuey, 2006. "The Persistence of Early Childhood Maturity: International Evidence of Long-Run Age Effects," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 121(4), pages 1437-1472.
    28. Karthik Muralidharan & Venkatesh Sundararaman, 2011. "Teacher Performance Pay: Experimental Evidence from India," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 119(1), pages 39-77.
    29. Patrick J. McEwan & Joseph S. Shapiro, 2008. "The Benefits of Delayed Primary School Enrollment: Discontinuity Estimates Using Exact Birth Dates," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 43(1).
    30. Datar, Ashlesha, 2006. "Does delaying kindergarten entrance give children a head start?," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 25(1), pages 43-62, February.
    31. James Banks & Fabrizio Mazzonna, 2012. "The Effect of Education on Old Age Cognitive Abilities: Evidence from a Regression Discontinuity Design," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 122(560), pages 418-448, May.
    32. Thomas S. Dee & Hans Henrik Sievertsen, 2018. "The gift of time? School starting age and mental health," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 27(5), pages 781-802, May.
    33. Thomas Cornelissen & Christian Dustmann, 2019. "Early School Exposure, Test Scores, and Noncognitive Outcomes," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 11(2), pages 35-63, May.
    34. repec:zbw:rwidps:0027 is not listed on IDEAS
    35. Agüero, Jorge M. & Beleche, Trinidad, 2013. "Test-Mex: Estimating the effects of school year length on student performance in Mexico," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 103(C), pages 353-361.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Vincenzo Andrietti & Xuejuan Su, 2019. "The Impact of Schooling Intensity on Student Learning: Evidence from a Quasi-Experiment," Education Finance and Policy, MIT Press, vol. 14(4), pages 679-701, Fall.
    2. Huebener, Mathias & Marcus, Jan, 2017. "Compressing instruction time into fewer years of schooling and the impact on student performance," EconStor Open Access Articles and Book Chapters, ZBW - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics, pages 1-14.
    3. 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.
    4. Kaestner, Robert, 2016. "Do `Skills Beget Skills'? Evidence on the effect of kindergarten entrance age on the evolution of cognitive and non-cognitive skill gaps in childhoodAuthor-Name: Lubotsky, Darren," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 53(C), pages 194-206.
    5. Huang, Cheng & Zhang, Shiying & Zhao, Qingguo, 2020. "The early bird catches the worm? School entry cutoff and the timing of births," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 143(C).
    6. Elizabeth U. Cascio & Diane Whitmore Schanzenbach, 2016. "First in the Class? Age and the Education Production Function," Education Finance and Policy, MIT Press, vol. 11(3), pages 225-250, Summer.
    7. Dionissi Aliprantis, 2012. "When should children start school?," Working Papers (Old Series) 1126, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.
    8. Martin Schlotter, 2011. "Age at Preschool Entrance and Noncognitive Skills before School - An Instrumental Variable Approach," ifo Working Paper Series 112, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich.
    9. Álvaro Choi & María Gil & Mauro Mediavilla & Javier Valbuena, 2018. "The Evolution of Educational Inequalities in Spain: Dynamic Evidence from Repeated Cross-Sections," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 138(3), pages 853-872, August.
    10. Martin Schlotter, 2012. "Educational Production in Preschools and Schools - Microeconometric Evidence from Germany," ifo Beiträge zur Wirtschaftsforschung, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, number 41, December.
    11. Sandra E. Black & Paul J. Devereux & Kjell G. Salvanes, 2011. "Too Young to Leave the Nest? The Effects of School Starting Age," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 93(2), pages 455-467, May.
    12. Rashmi Barua & Kevin Lang, 2009. "School Entry, Educational Attainment and Quarter of Birth: A Cautionary Tale of LATE," NBER Working Papers 15236, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    13. Chen, Jiaying & Park, Albert, 2021. "School entry age and educational attainment in developing countries: Evidence from China's compulsory education law," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(3), pages 715-732.
    14. Köllő, János & Hámori, Szilvia, 2011. "Kinek használ az évvesztés?. Iskolakezdési kor és tanulói teljesítmények Magyarországon [Who gains by postponed schooling?. Age at starting school and achievement as pupils in Hungary]," Közgazdasági Szemle (Economic Review - monthly of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences), Közgazdasági Szemle Alapítvány (Economic Review Foundation), vol. 0(2), pages 133-157.
    15. 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.
    16. Herbst, Mikołaj & Strawiński, Paweł, 2016. "Early effects of an early start: Evidence from lowering the school starting age in Poland," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 38(2), pages 256-271.
    17. Filmer, Deon & Rogers, Halsey & Angrist, Noam & Sabarwal, Shwetlena, 2020. "Learning-adjusted years of schooling (LAYS): Defining a new macro measure of education," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 77(C).
    18. Rafael Matta & Rafael P. Ribas & Breno Sampaio & Gustavo R. Sampaio, 2016. "The effect of age at school entry on college admission and earnings: a regression-discontinuity approach," IZA Journal of Labor Economics, Springer;Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit GmbH (IZA), vol. 5(1), pages 1-25, December.
    19. Calsamiglia, Caterina & Loviglio, Annalisa, 2019. "Grading on a curve: When having good peers is not good," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 73(C).
    20. Leuven, Edwin & Lindahl, Mikael & Oosterbeek, Hessel & Webbink, Dinand, 2010. "Expanding schooling opportunities for 4-year-olds," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 29(3), pages 319-328, June.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Compulsory education; School entry age; Educational outcomes;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

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

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:wdevel:v:130:y:2020:i:c:s0305750x20300504. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: . General contact details of provider: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/worlddev .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Catherine Liu (email available below). General contact details of provider: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/worlddev .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.