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Whose Children Gain from Starting School Later? Evidence from Hungary

  • Szilvia Hamori

    ()

    (Institute of Economics of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences)

  • Janos Kollo

    ()

    (Institute of Economics Hungarian Academy of Sciences)

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    We look at the effect of school starting age on standardized test scores using data covering all grade four and grade eight students in Hungary. Instrumental variables estimates of the local average treatment effect suggest that children generally gain from starting school one year later and the effects are much stronger in the case of students coming from low-educated families. We test the robustness of the results by allowing for heterogeneity in the age effect, distinguishing between fields of testing, using discontinuity samples and relying on alternative data. The hypothesis that delayed entry has a stronger impact on low-status children is supported by the robustness checks. The observed patterns are most probably explained by the better performance of kindergartens, as opposed to schools, in developing the skills of low-status children.

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    File URL: http://www.econ.core.hu/file/download/bwp/bwp1102.pdf
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    Paper provided by Institute of Economics, Centre for Economic and Regional Studies, Hungarian Academy of Sciences in its series Budapest Working Papers on the Labour Market with number 1102.

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    Date of creation: Apr 2011
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    Handle: RePEc:has:bworkp:1102
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    1. Kelly Bedard & Elizabeth Dhuey, 2006. "The Persistence of Early Childhood Maturity: International Evidence of Long-Run Age Effects," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 121(4), pages 1437-1472, November.
    2. Patrick Puhani & Andrea Weber, 2007. "Does the early bird catch the worm?," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 32(2), pages 359-386, May.
    3. Elizabeth Cascio & Diane Whitmore Schanzenbach, 2007. "First in the Class? Age and the Education Production Function," NBER Working Papers 13663, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. 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.
    5. Sandra E. Black & Paul J. Devereux & Kjell G. Salvanes, 2011. "Too Young to Leave the Nest? The Effects of School Starting Age," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 93(2), pages 455-467, May.
    6. repec:rwi:dpaper:0027 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Todd E. Elder & Darren H. Lubotsky, 2009. "Kindergarten Entrance Age and Children’s Achievement: Impacts of State Policies, Family Background, and Peers," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 44(3).
    8. 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).
    9. Carlos Dobkin & Fernando Ferreira, 2009. "Do School Entry Laws Affect Educational Attainment and Labor Market Outcomes?," NBER Working Papers 14945, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. Fertig, Michael & Kluve, Jochen, 2005. "The Effect of Age at School Entry on Educational Attainment in Germany," IZA Discussion Papers 1507, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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