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School Entry, Educational Attainment and Quarter of Birth: A Cautionary Tale of LATE

  • Kevin Lang

    ()

    (Boston University and NBER and IZA)

  • Rashmi Barua

    ()

    (School of Economics, Singapore Management University)

Partly in response to increased testing and accountability, states and districts have been raising the minimum school entry age, but existing studies show mixed results regarding the effects of entry age. These studies may be severely biased because they violate the monotonicity assumption needed for LATE. We propose an instrument not subject to this bias and show no effect on the educational attainment of children born in the fourth quarter of moving from a December 31 to an earlier cutoff. We then estimate a model that reconciles the di¤erent IV estimates including ours. We find that one standard instrument is badly biased but that the other diverges from ours because it estimates a di¤erent LATE. We also find that an early entry age cutoff that is applied loosely (as in the 1950s) raises educational attainment but one that is strictly enforced lowers it.

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Paper provided by Boston University - Department of Economics in its series Boston University - Department of Economics - Working Papers Series with number WP2010-019.

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Length: 33 pages
Date of creation: Jan 2010
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:bos:wpaper:wp2010-019
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Web page: http://www.bu.edu/econ/

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