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

  • Samuel Berlinski

    ()

    (Institute for Fiscal Studies and University College, London)

  • Sebastian Galiani
  • Marco Manacorda

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: Sep 2006
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ifs:ifsewp:06/18
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  1. Currie, J. & Thomas, D., 1995. "Does Head Start make a Difference?," Papers 95-10, RAND - Reprint Series.
  2. James Heckman & Pedro Carneiro, 2003. "Human Capital Policy," NBER Working Papers 9495, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. David Blau & Janet Currie, 2004. "Preschool, Day Care, and Afterschool Care: Who's Minding the Kids?," NBER Working Papers 10670, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Currie, J & Thomas, D, 1996. "Does Head Start Help Hispanic Children?," Papers 96-17, RAND - Labor and Population Program.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. Eliana Garces & Duncan Thomas & Janet Currie, 2002. "Longer-Term Effects of Head Start," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(4), pages 999-1012, September.
  8. Robert J. Barro & Jong-Wha Lee, 2000. "International Data on Educational Attainment Updates and Implications," NBER Working Papers 7911, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  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 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. Katherine A. Magnuson & Christopher J. Ruhm & Jane Waldfogel, 2004. "Does Prekindergarten Improve School Preparation and Performance?," NBER Working Papers 10452, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  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. 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.
  16. Janet Currie, 2001. "Early Childhood Education Programs," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 15(2), pages 213-238, Spring.
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