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Giving children a better start: preschool attendance and school-age profiles

  • Samuel Berlinski

    ()

    (Institute for Fiscal Studies and Inter-American Development Bank)

  • Sebastian Galiani

    (Institute for Fiscal Studies and Washington University in St Louis)

  • Marco Manacorda

    ()

    (Institute for Fiscal Studies and Queen Mary University of London and CEP (LSE))

We study the effect of pre-primary education on children's subsequent school outcomes by exploiting a unique feature of the Uruguayan household survey (ECH) that collects retrospective information on preschool attendance. A rapid expansion in the supply of pre-primary places over the last decade generates sufficient variation in the data to warrant identification. Using a within household estimator that only exploits differences in exposure across siblings, we find small gains from preschool attendance at early ages that magnify as children grow up. By age 16, children that attended preschool have accumulated more than 1 extra year of education and are 27 percentage points more likely to be in school compared to their siblings with no preschool education. We speculate that early grade repetition harms subsequent school progression and that pre-primary education appears as a successful policy option to prevent early grade failure and its long lasting consequences.

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File URL: http://www.ifs.org.uk/wps/wp0618.pdf
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Paper provided by Institute for Fiscal Studies in its series IFS Working Papers with number W06/18.

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Length: 32 pp.
Date of creation: 04 Sep 2006
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ifs:ifsewp:06/18
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  1. James J. Heckman & Jora Stixrud & Sergio Urzua, 2006. "The Effects of Cognitive and Noncognitive Abilities on Labor Market Outcomes and Social Behavior," NBER Working Papers 12006, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Berlinski, Samuel & Galiani, Sebastian, 2007. "The effect of a large expansion of pre-primary school facilities on preschool attendance and maternal employment," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 14(3), pages 665-680, June.
  3. Janet Currie & Duncan Thomas, 1993. "Does Head Start Make a Difference?," NBER Working Papers 4406, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Card, David, 1999. "The causal effect of education on earnings," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 30, pages 1801-1863 Elsevier.
  5. Eliana Garces & Duncan Thomas & Janet Currie, 2000. "Longer Term Effects of Head Start," NBER Working Papers 8054, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Flavio Cunha & James J. Heckman & Lance Lochner & Dimitriy V. Masterov, 2005. "Interpreting the Evidence on Life Cycle Skill Formation," NBER Working Papers 11331, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Janet Currie & Duncan Thomas, 1996. "Does Head Start Help Hispanic Children?," NBER Working Papers 5805, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. 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.
  9. Michael Anderson, 2005. "Uncovering Gender Differences in the Effects of Early Intervention: A Reevaluation of the Abecedarian, Perry Preschool, and Early Training Projects," HEW 0509008, EconWPA, revised 26 Sep 2005.
  10. James Heckman & Pedro Carneiro, 2003. "Human Capital Policy," NBER Working Papers 9495, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. 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.
  12. Janet Currie, 2001. "Early Childhood Education Programs," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 15(2), pages 213-238, Spring.
  13. Barro, Robert J & Lee, Jong-Wha, 2001. "International Data on Educational Attainment: Updates and Implications," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 53(3), pages 541-63, July.
  14. Samuel Berlinski & Sebastian Galiani & Paul Gertler, 2006. "The effect of pre-primary education on primary school performance," IFS Working Papers W06/04, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  15. Jonah B. Gelbach, 2002. "Public Schooling for Young Children and Maternal Labor Supply," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(1), pages 307-322, March.
  16. 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.
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