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How Valuable Is the Gift of Time? The Factors That Drive the Birth Date Effect in Education

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  • Justin Smith

    () (Department of Economics, University of Manitoba)

Abstract

The age at which students enter school is increasing. More parents are delaying their child's entry, and U.S. states are moving school entry cutoffs earlier, mainly because older students outperform younger ones on many educational outcomes. Much of the literature interprets advantages held by older students as benefits to entering school older, but because entering older means being older when students take tests, it is unknown if performance differences are attributable to entry age or test age. Policy and parent behavior depend on which age effect matters more. Using a natural experiment from the province of British Columbia, Canada, that temporarily altered entry dates, I estimate an upper bound of the test age effect and a lower bound of the entry age effect. Results show that the upper bound of the test age effect is much larger than the lower bound of the entry age effect. © 2010 American Education Finance Association

Suggested Citation

  • Justin Smith, 2010. "How Valuable Is the Gift of Time? The Factors That Drive the Birth Date Effect in Education," Education Finance and Policy, MIT Press, vol. 5(3), pages 247-277, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:tpr:edfpol:v:5:y:2010:i:3:p:247-277
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Claire Crawford & Lorraine Dearden & Ellen Greaves, 2013. "Identifying the drivers of month of birth differences in educational attainment," DoQSS Working Papers 13-07, Department of Quantitative Social Science - UCL Institute of Education, University College London.
    2. DeCicca, Philip & Smith, Justin, 2013. "The long-run impacts of early childhood education: Evidence from a failed policy experiment," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 36(C), pages 41-59.
    3. Figlio, D. & Karbownik, K. & Salvanes, K.G., 2016. "Education Research and Administrative Data," Handbook of the Economics of Education, Elsevier.
    4. Claire Crawford & Lorraine Dearden & Ellen Greaves, 2013. "The impact of age within academic year on adult outcomes," DoQSS Working Papers 13-05, Department of Quantitative Social Science - UCL Institute of Education, University College London.
    5. Claire Crawford & Lorraine Dearden & Ellen Greaves, 2013. "The drivers of month of birth differences in children's cognitive and non-cognitive skills: a regression discontinuity analysis," IFS Working Papers W13/08, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
    6. Peña, Pablo A., 2017. "Creating winners and losers: Date of birth, relative age in school, and outcomes in childhood and adulthood," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 56(C), pages 152-176.
    7. Francesca Carta & Lucia Rizzica, 2016. "Female employment and pre-kindergarten: On the unintended effects of an Italian reform Abstract: We theoretically show that when mothers need to buy childcare services not only if they work but also i," Working Papers 091, "Carlo F. Dondena" Centre for Research on Social Dynamics (DONDENA), Università Commerciale Luigi Bocconi.
    8. Claire Crawford & Lorraine Dearden & Ellen Greaves, 2014. "The drivers of month-of-birth differences in children's cognitive and non-cognitive skills," Journal of the Royal Statistical Society Series A, Royal Statistical Society, vol. 177(4), pages 829-860, October.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    birth date effect; school entry cutoffs; student entry age;

    JEL classification:

    • I20 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - General
    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education

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