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Whose Children Gain from Starting School Later? Evidence from Hungary

Author

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  • Hámori, Szilvia

    () (Hungarian Academy of Sciences)

  • Köllő, János

    () (Hungarian Academy of Sciences)

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Hámori, Szilvia & Köllő, János, 2011. "Whose Children Gain from Starting School Later? Evidence from Hungary," IZA Discussion Papers 5539, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp5539
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Elizabeth U. Cascio & Diane Whitmore Schanzenbach, 2016. "First in the Class? Age and the Education Production Function," Education Finance and Policy, MIT Press, vol. 11(3), pages 225-250, Summer.
    2. Patrick Puhani & Andrea Weber, 2007. "Does the early bird catch the worm?," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 32(2), pages 359-386, May.
    3. 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.
    4. Jenkins, Stephen P. & Micklewright, John & Schnepf, Sylke Viola, 2006. "Social segregation in Secondary Schools: how does England compare with other countries?," ISER Working Paper Series 2006-02, Institute for Social and Economic Research.
    5. Dobkin, Carlos & Ferreira, Fernando, 2010. "Do school entry laws affect educational attainment and labor market outcomes?," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 40-54, February.
    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 518-529, October.
    7. Kelly Bedard & Elizabeth Dhuey, 2006. "The Persistence of Early Childhood Maturity: International Evidence of Long-Run Age Effects," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 121(4), pages 1437-1472.
    8. 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).
    9. 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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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Ryan, Chris & Zhu, Anna, 2016. "Sibling Health, Schooling and Longer-Term Developmental Outcomes," IZA Discussion Papers 10253, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    2. Suziedelyte, Agne & Zhu, Anna, 2015. "Does early schooling narrow outcome gaps for advantaged and disadvantaged children?," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 45(C), pages 76-88.
    3. Chris Ryan & Anna Zhu, 2015. "Sibling Health, Schooling and Longer-Term Developmental Outcomes," Melbourne Institute Working Paper Series wp2015n21, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    education; student test scores; enrolment age; identification;

    JEL classification:

    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education
    • I28 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Government Policy
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity

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