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Disentangling the effect of students’ maturity on academic achievement

In: Investigaciones de Economía de la Educación 11


  • Oscar David Marcenaro Gutierrez

    () (Universidad de Málaga)

  • Luis Alejandro Lopez-Agudo

    () (Universidad de Malaga)


There exists an increasing number of contributions focused on the influence of the attendance to early childhood and/or preprimary education on the future academic path of the students, which employ in a complementary way the quarter of birth of the student as a proxy for the maturity of the children. The present work goes a step further by making a distinction between three different dimensions of maturity: students’ mental age, proxied by the time when children began to exhibit the basic competences (reading and writing); chronological age, represented by the bimester of birth; and grade repetition, which represents a maturity related to academic knowledge. The suitability of the quarter of birth and the ages of beginning to read and write as an instrument of repetition has been checked, finding that they are not adequate for this purpose This finding might be reinforcing the argument that the ages of beginning to read and write, the quarter of birth and grade repetition might be measuring different dimensions of students’ maturity.

Suggested Citation

  • Oscar David Marcenaro Gutierrez & Luis Alejandro Lopez-Agudo, 2016. "Disentangling the effect of students’ maturity on academic achievement," Investigaciones de Economía de la Educación volume 11,in: José Manuel Cordero Ferrera & Rosa Simancas Rodríguez (ed.), Investigaciones de Economía de la Educación 11, edition 1, volume 11, chapter 29, pages 535-550 Asociación de Economía de la Educación.
  • Handle: RePEc:aec:ieed11:11-29

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. J. Ignacio García-Pérez & Marisa Hidalgo-Hidalgo & J. Antonio Robles-Zurita, 2014. "Does grade retention affect students' achievement? Some evidence from Spain," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 46(12), pages 1373-1392, April.
    2. Pedraja-Chaparro, Francisco & Santín, Daniel & Simancas, Rosa, 2015. "Determinants of grade retention in France and Spain: Does birth month matter?," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 37(5), pages 820-834.
    3. 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.
    4. Robertson, Erin, 2011. "The effects of quarter of birth on academic outcomes at the elementary school level," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 30(2), pages 300-311, April.
    5. Ponzo, Michela & Scoppa, Vincenzo, 2014. "The long-lasting effects of school entry age: Evidence from Italian students," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 36(3), pages 578-599.
    6. 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.
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    More about this item


    Maturity; writing; reading; grade repetition;

    JEL classification:

    • I24 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Education and Inequality


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