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How and why does age at kindergarten entry matter?

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  • Elizabeth Cascio

Abstract

Those who have spent time in a kindergarten classroom know that there are remarkable differences in children's skills. Research has shown that these skill differences are strongly tied to age, with students who enter kindergarten later in life doing better than younger entrants. Moreover, an "entry-age achievement gap" has been found to persist until as late as the eighth or ninth grade. ; In this Economic Letter, I describe possible interpretations of the entry-age achievement gap, along with their implications, and discuss new empirical research attempting to establish their relative importance.

Suggested Citation

  • Elizabeth Cascio, 2008. "How and why does age at kindergarten entry matter?," FRBSF Economic Letter, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue aug8.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedfel:y:2008:i:aug8:n:2008-24
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    File URL: http://www.frbsf.org/publications/economics/letter/2008/el2008-24.html
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    File URL: http://www.frbsf.org/publications/economics/letter/2008/el200808-24.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. David Deming & Susan Dynarski, 2008. "The Lengthening of Childhood," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 22(3), pages 71-92, Summer.
    2. 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.
    3. 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.
    4. Elizabeth U. Cascio & Ethan G. Lewis, 2006. "Schooling and the Armed Forces Qualifying Test: Evidence from School-Entry Laws," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 41(2).
    5. 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.
    6. Joshua D. Angrist & Alan B. Keueger, 1991. "Does Compulsory School Attendance Affect Schooling and Earnings?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 106(4), pages 979-1014.
    7. 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).
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    Cited by:

    1. 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.

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    Keywords

    Education;

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