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The Effect of Age at School Entry on Educational Attainment: An Application of Instrumental Variables with Moments from Two Samples

Author

Listed:
  • Joshua D. Angrist

    (Harvard University and NBER)

  • Alan B. Krueger

    (Princeton University and NBER)

Abstract

This paper tests the hypothesis that compulsory school attendance laws, which typically require school attendance until a specified birthday, induce a relationship between years of schooling and age at school entry. Variation in school start age created by children's date of birth provides a natural experiment for estimation of the effect of age at school entry. Because no large data set contains information on both age at school entry and educational attainment, we use an Instrumental Variables (IV) estimator with data derived from the 1960 and 1980 Censuses to test the age-at-entry/compulsory schooling model. In most IV applications, the two covariance matrices that form the estimator are constructed from the same sample. We use a method of moments framework to discuss IV estimators that combine moments from different data sets. In our application, quarter of birth dummies are the instrumental variables used to link the 1960 Census, from which age at school entry can be derived for one cohort of students, to the 1980 Census, which contains educational attainment for the same cohort of students. The results suggest that roughly l0 percent of students were constrained to stay in school by compulsory schooling laws.

Suggested Citation

  • Joshua D. Angrist & Alan B. Krueger, 1990. "The Effect of Age at School Entry on Educational Attainment: An Application of Instrumental Variables with Moments from Two Samples," Working Papers 654, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
  • Handle: RePEc:pri:indrel:274
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Newey, Whitney K & West, Kenneth D, 1987. "Hypothesis Testing with Efficient Method of Moments Estimation," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 28(3), pages 777-787, October.
    2. K. Newey, Whitney, 1985. "Generalized method of moments specification testing," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 29(3), pages 229-256, September.
    3. Angrist, Joshua D., 1991. "Grouped-data estimation and testing in simple labor-supply models," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 47(2-3), pages 243-266, February.
    4. Chamberlain, Gary, 1982. "Multivariate regression models for panel data," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 18(1), pages 5-46, January.
    5. Micklewright, John, 1989. "Choice at Sixteen," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 56(221), pages 25-39, February.
    6. J. Micklewright, 1987. "Choice at Sixteen," Working Papers 160, Queen Mary University of London, School of Economics and Finance.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    school start age; compulsory schooling; educational attainment;

    JEL classification:

    • H32 - Public Economics - - Fiscal Policies and Behavior of Economic Agents - - - Firm
    • H39 - Public Economics - - Fiscal Policies and Behavior of Economic Agents - - - Other

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