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The impact of age within academic year on adult outcomes

  • Claire Crawford

    ()

    (Institute for Fiscal Studies)

  • Lorraine Dearden

    ()

    (Institute for Fiscal Studies and Department of Quantitative Social Science, Institute of Education, University of London)

  • Ellen Greaves

    ()

    (Institute for Fiscal Studies)

Children born at the end of the academic year have lower educational attainment, on average, than those born at the start of the academic year. Previous research has shown that the difference is most pronounced early in pupils’ school lives, but remains evident and statistically significant in high-stakes exams taken at the end of compulsory schooling. Those born later in the academic year are also significantly less likely to participate in post-compulsory education than those born at the start of the year. We provide the first evidence on whether these differences in childhood outcomes translate into differences in the probability of employment, occupation and earnings for adults in the UK. We also examine whether there are differences in broader measures of well-being such as self-perceived health and mental health. We find that the large and significant differences observed in educational attainment do not lead to pervasive differences in adulthood; those born towards the end of the academic year are more likely to experience unemployment (which is particularly true for females and those that don’t achieve a degree level qualification) but in general there are few substantial or statistically significant differences in terms of occupation, earnings and self-perceived health and mental health. It is not clear why this should be the case, but if employers reward productivity equally as they learn more about their workers, irrespective of their educational attainment, then this lack of significant differences may not be surprising.

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Paper provided by Department of Quantitative Social Science - UCL Institute of Education, University College London in its series DoQSS Working Papers with number 13-05.

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Date of creation: 13 May 2013
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Handle: RePEc:qss:dqsswp:1305
Contact details of provider: Postal: Department of Quantitative Social Science. UCL IOE, 20 Bedford Way London WC1H 0AL
Phone: (44) (0)20 7612 6654. Eliminate (44) and add (0) if calling from inside the UK. Add (44) and eliminate (0) if calling from abroad.
Fax: (44) (0)20 7612 6686
Web page: http://www.ioe.ac.uk/research/departments/qss/35445.html

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  1. Carlos Dobkin & Fernando Ferreira, 2009. "Do School Entry Laws Affect Educational Attainment and Labor Market Outcomes?," NBER Working Papers 14945, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Maresa Sprietsma, 2010. "Effect of relative age in the first grade of primary school on long-term scholastic results: international comparative evidence using PISA 2003," Education Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 18(1), pages 1-32.
  3. George Psacharopoulos & Harry Anthony Patrinos, 2004. "Returns to investment in education: a further update," Education Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 12(2), pages 111-134.
  4. Kawaguchi, Daiji, 2011. "Actual age at school entry, educational outcomes, and earnings," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 25(2), pages 64-80, June.
  5. Dhuey, Elizabeth & Lipscomb, Stephen, 2008. "What makes a leader? Relative age and high school leadership," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 27(2), pages 173-183, April.
  6. 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).
  7. Patrick Puhani & Andrea Weber, 2007. "Does the early bird catch the worm?," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 32(2), pages 359-386, May.
  8. Patrick J. McEwan & Joseph S. Shapiro, 2008. "The Benefits of Delayed Primary School Enrollment: Discontinuity Estimates Using Exact Birth Dates," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 43(1).
  9. Sandra E. Black & Paul J. Devereux & Kjell G. Salvanes, 2008. "Too Young to Leave the Nest: The Effects of School Starting Age," NBER Working Papers 13969, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Hendrik Jürges & Kerstin Schneider, 2007. "What Can Go Wrong Will Go Wrong: Birthday Effects and Early Tracking in the German School System," CESifo Working Paper Series 2055, CESifo Group Munich.
  11. Dionissi Aliprantis, 2012. "When should children start school?," Working Paper 1126, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.
  12. Ponzo, Michela & Scoppa, Vincenzo, 2014. "The long-lasting effects of school entry age: Evidence from Italian students," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 36(3), pages 578-599.
  13. Smith Justin, 2009. "Can Regression Discontinuity Help Answer an Age-Old Question in Education? The Effect of Age on Elementary and Secondary School Achievement," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 9(1), pages 1-30, November.
  14. Kelly Bedard & Elizabeth Dhuey, 2006. "The Persistence of Early Childhood Maturity: International Evidence of Long-Run Age Effects," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 121(4), pages 1437-1472, November.
  15. Du, Qianqian & Gao, Huasheng & Levi, Maurice D., 2012. "The relative-age effect and career success: Evidence from corporate CEOs," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 117(3), pages 660-662.
  16. Datar, Ashlesha, 2006. "Does delaying kindergarten entrance give children a head start?," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 25(1), pages 43-62, February.
  17. Justin Smith, 2010. "How Valuable Is the Gift of Time? The Factors That Drive the Birth Date Effect in Education," Education Finance and Policy, MIT Press, vol. 5(3), pages 247-277, July.
  18. Andrea M. Mühlenweg & Patrick A. Puhani, 2010. "The Evolution of the School-Entry Age Effect in a School Tracking System," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 45(2).
  19. Robertson, Erin, 2011. "The effects of quarter of birth on academic outcomes at the elementary school level," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 30(2), pages 300-311, April.
  20. Kelly Bedard & Elizabeth Dhuey, 2012. "School-Entry Policies and Skill Accumulation Across Directly and Indirectly Affected Individuals," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 47(3), pages 643-683.
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