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Will Sooner Be Better ? The Impact of Early Preschool Enrollment on Cognitive and Noncognitive Achievement of Children

  • Olivier Filatriau



  • Denis Fougère


    (CREST and CNRS)

  • Maxime To


    (CREST and Sciences Po)

In this paper we measure the effect of entering preelementary school at age 2 rather than 3 in France. Our identification strategy relies on ratios between the number of young children and the capacity of preelementary schools observed at the very local level. This information allows us to solve the endogeneity issue due to the potential correlation between unobserved determinants of early enrollment decision and children achievement. We measure this effect on schooling achievement in primary and lower secondary schools. We show that early enrollment in preelementary school improves cognitive and noncognitive skills at age six, and both literacy and numeracy from the third to the ninth grades.

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Paper provided by Centre de Recherche en Economie et Statistique in its series Working Papers with number 2013-10.

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Length: 39
Date of creation: May 2013
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:crs:wpaper:2013-10
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  1. Patrick Bayer & Fernando Ferreira & Robert McMillan, 2007. "A Unified Framework for Measuring Preferences for Schools and Neighborhoods," Working Papers 07-27, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  2. James J. Heckman & Rodrigo Pinto & Peter A. Savelyev, 2012. "Understanding the Mechanisms through Which an Influential Early Childhood Program Boosted Adult Outcomes," NBER Working Papers 18581, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Apps, Patricia & Mendolia, Silvia & Walker, Ian, 2012. "The Impact of Pre-school on Adolescents' Outcomes: Evidence from a Recent English Cohort," IZA Discussion Papers 6971, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  4. Heckman, James J. & Moon, Seong Hyeok & Pinto, Rodrigo & Savelyev, Peter A. & Yavitz, Adam, 2010. "The rate of return to the HighScope Perry Preschool Program," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 94(1-2), pages 114-128, February.
  5. Leuven, Edwin & Lindahl, Mikael & Oosterbeek, Hessel & Webbink, Dinand, 2006. "Expanding Schooling Opportunities for 4-Year-Olds," IZA Discussion Papers 2434, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  6. Stock, James H & Wright, Jonathan H & Yogo, Motohiro, 2002. "A Survey of Weak Instruments and Weak Identification in Generalized Method of Moments," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 20(4), pages 518-29, October.
  7. Rodrigo Pinto & Azeem Shaikh & Adam Yavitz & James Heckman, 2010. "Inference with Imperfect Randomization: The Case of the Perry Preschool Program," 2010 Meeting Papers 1336, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  8. James Heckman & Seong Hyeok Moon & Rodrigo Pinto & Peter Savelyev & Adam Yavitz, 2010. "Analyzing social experiments as implemented: A reexamination of the evidence from the HighScope Perry Preschool Program," Quantitative Economics, Econometric Society, vol. 1(1), pages 1-46, 07.
  9. James J. Heckman & Edward Vytlacil, 2005. "Structural Equations, Treatment Effects and Econometric Policy Evaluation," NBER Working Papers 11259, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Dominique Goux & Eric Maurin, 2010. "Public School Availability for Two-year Olds and Mothers' Labour Supply," Post-Print halshs-00754411, HAL.
  11. Raquel Bernal, 2008. "The Effect Of Maternal Employment And Child Care On Children'S Cognitive Development," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 49(4), pages 1173-1209, November.
  12. Sandra E. Black, 1999. "Do Better Schools Matter? Parental Valuation of Elementary Education," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 114(2), pages 577-599.
  13. Bénabou, Roland & Kramarz, Francis & Prost, Corinne, 2009. "The French zones d'éducation prioritaire: Much ado about nothing?," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 28(3), pages 345-356, June.
  14. Almond, Douglas & Currie, Janet, 2011. "Human Capital Development before Age Five," Handbook of Labor Economics, Elsevier.
  15. Flavio Cunha & James J. Heckman, 2008. "Formulating, Identifying and Estimating the Technology of Cognitive and Noncognitive Skill Formation," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 43(4).
  16. Datar, Ashlesha, 2006. "Does delaying kindergarten entrance give children a head start?," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 25(1), pages 43-62, February.
  17. Douglas Staiger & James H. Stock, 1994. "Instrumental Variables Regression with Weak Instruments," NBER Technical Working Papers 0151, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. Bernal, Raquel & Keane, Michael P., 2010. "Quasi-structural estimation of a model of childcare choices and child cognitive ability production," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 156(1), pages 164-189, May.
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