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The effect of pre-primary education on primary school performance

  • Samuel Berlinski

    ()

    (Institute for Fiscal Studies and University College, London)

  • Sebastian Galiani
  • Paul Gertler

Although the theoretical case for universal pre-primary education is strong, the empirical foundation is weak. In this paper, we contribute to the empirical case by investigating the effect of a large expansion of universal pre-primary education on subsequent primary school performance in Argentina. We estimate that one year of preprimary school increases average third grade test scores by 8 percent of a mean or by 23 percent of the standard deviation of the distribution of test scores. We also find that preprimary school attendance positively affects student's self-control in the third grade as measured by behaviors such as attention, effort, class participation, and discipline.

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Paper provided by Institute for Fiscal Studies in its series IFS Working Papers with number W06/04.

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Length: 38 pp.
Date of creation: Mar 2006
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ifs:ifsewp:06/04
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  1. Joshua D. Angrist & Victor Lavy, 1999. "Using Maimonides' Rule To Estimate The Effect Of Class Size On Scholastic Achievement," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 114(2), pages 533-575, May.
  2. Blau, David & Currie, Janet, 2006. "Pre-School, Day Care, and After-School Care: Who's Minding the Kids?," Handbook of the Economics of Education, Elsevier.
  3. James J. Heckman, 1999. "Policies to Foster Human Capital," NBER Working Papers 7288, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Samuel Berlinski & Sebastian Galiani, 2004. "The effect of a large expansion of pre-primary school facilities on preschool attendance and maternal employment," IFS Working Papers W04/30, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  5. Angrist, Joshua, 2003. "Treatment Effect Heterogeneity in Theory and Practice," IZA Discussion Papers 851, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  6. Samuel Berlinski & Sebastian Galiani & Marco Manacorda, 2006. "Giving children a better start: preschool attendance and school-age profiles," IFS Working Papers W06/18, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  7. Galiani, Sebastian & Gertler, Paul & Schargrodsky, Ernesto, 2008. "School decentralization: Helping the good get better, but leaving the poor behind," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(10-11), pages 2106-2120, October.
  8. Carneiro, Pedro & Heckman, James J., 2003. "Human Capital Policy," IZA Discussion Papers 821, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  9. Currie, Janet & Thomas, Duncan, 1995. "Does Head Start Make a Difference?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(3), pages 341-64, June.
  10. Marianne Bertrand & Esther Duflo & Sendhil Mullainathan, 2004. "How Much Should We Trust Differences-in-Differences Estimates?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 119(1), pages 249-275, February.
  11. David Card & Alan Krueger, 1990. "Does School Quality Matter? Returns to Education and the Characteristics of Public Schools in the United States," NBER Working Papers 3358, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Eliana Garces & Duncan Thomas & Janet Currie, 2000. "Longer Term Effects of Head Start," NBER Working Papers 8054, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Janet Currie, 2001. "Early Childhood Education Programs," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 15(2), pages 213-238, Spring.
  14. Jens Ludwig & Douglas L. Miller, 2005. "Does Head Start Improve Children's Life Chances? Evidence from a Regression Discontinuity Design," NBER Working Papers 11702, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Michael Baker & Jonathan Gruber & Kevin Milligan, 2008. "Universal Child Care, Maternal Labor Supply, and Family Well-Being," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 116(4), pages 709-745, 08.
  16. James J. Heckman & Jora Stixrud & Sergio Urzua, 2006. "The Effects of Cognitive and Noncognitive Abilities on Labor Market Outcomes and Social Behavior," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 24(3), pages 411-482, July.
  17. Magnuson, Katherine A. & Ruhm, Christopher & Waldfogel, Jane, 2007. "Does prekindergarten improve school preparation and performance?," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 26(1), pages 33-51, February.
  18. Esther Duflo, 2001. "Schooling and Labor Market Consequences of School Construction in Indonesia: Evidence from an Unusual Policy Experiment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(4), pages 795-813, September.
  19. Miguel Urquiola, 2006. "Identifying Class Size Effects in Developing Countries: Evidence from Rural Bolivia," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 88(1), pages 171-177, February.
  20. Christopher J. Ruhm, 2004. "Parental Employment and Child Cognitive Development," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 39(1).
  21. W. Steven Barnett, 1992. "Benefits of Compensatory Preschool Education," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 27(2), pages 279-312.
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