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The Long-Lasting Effects Of School Entry Age: Evidence From Italian Students

  • Michela Ponzo

    ()

  • Vincenzo Scoppa

    ()

    (Dipartimento di Economia e Statistica, Università della Calabria)

Using data for 9, 13 and 15-year-old students from three different datasets (PIRLS-2006, TIMSS-2007 and PISA-2009), we investigate whether the age at school entry affects children school performance at the fourth, eighth and tenth grade levels. Since student’s age in a grade may be endogenous, we use an Instrumental Variable estimation strategy exploiting the exogenous variations in the month of birth coupled with the entry school cut-off date. We find that younger children score substantially lower than older peers at the fourth, the eighth and the tenth grade. The advantage of older students does not dissipate as they grow older. We do not find any significant effect of the relative age of a child with respect to the classmates’ age. Finally, we show that secondary school students are more likely to be tracked in more academic schools rather than in vocational schools if they are born in the early months of the year.

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File URL: http://www.ecostat.unical.it/RePEc/WorkingPapers/WP01_2011.pdf
File Function: First version, 2011-01
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Paper provided by Università della Calabria, Dipartimento di Economia, Statistica e Finanza (Ex Dipartimento di Economia e Statistica) in its series Working Papers with number 201101.

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Length: 22 pages
Date of creation: Jan 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:clb:wpaper:201101
Contact details of provider: Postal: Università della Calabria, Dipartimento di Economia, Statistica e Finanza, Ponte Pietro Bucci, Cubo 0/C, I-87036 Arcavacata di Rende, CS, Italy
Phone: +39 0984 492413
Fax: +39 0984 492421
Web page: http://www.unical.it/portale/strutture/dipartimenti_240/disesf/

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  1. Hendrik Jürges & Kerstin Schneider, 2007. "What can go wrong will go wrong: Birthday effects and early tracking in the German school system," MEA discussion paper series 07138, Munich Center for the Economics of Aging (MEA) at the Max Planck Institute for Social Law and Social Policy.
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