Identifying the drivers of month of birth differences in educational attainment
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 shows that the difference is most pronounced early in pupilsâ€™ school lives, but remains evident and statistically significant in high-stakes exams taken at the end of compulsory schooling. To determine the most appropriate policy response, it is vital to understand which of the four possible factors (age at test, age of starting school, length of schooling and relative age without cohort) lead to these differences in attainment between those born at different points in the academic year. However, research to date has been unable to adequately address this problem, as the four potential drivers are all highly correlated with one another, and three of the four form an exact linear relationship (age at test = age of starting school + length of schooling). This paper is the first to apply the principle of maximum entropy to this problem. Using two complementary sources of data we find that a childâ€™s age at the time they take the test is the most important driver of the differences observed, which suggests that age-adjusting national achievement test scores is likely to be the most appropriate policy response to ensure that children born towards the end of the year are not at a disadvantage simply because they are younger when they take their exams.
|Date of creation:||13 May 2013|
|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
More information through EDIRC
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- 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.
- Michela Ponzo & Vincenzo Scoppa, 2011. "The Long-Lasting Effects Of School Entry Age: Evidence From Italian Students," Working Papers 201101, Università della Calabria, Dipartimento di Economia, Statistica e Finanza "Giovanni Anania" - DESF.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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).
- 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.
- 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.
- Paul J. Devereux & Sandra E. Black & Kjell G. Salvanes, 2008. "Too young to leave the nest? The effects of school starting age," Open Access publications 10197/737, School of Economics, University College Dublin.
- Black, Sandra E. & Devereux, Paul J. & Salvanes, Kjell G., 2008. "Too Young to Leave the Nest? The Effects of School Starting Age," IZA Discussion Papers 3452, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
- 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).
- Datar, Ashlesha, 2006. "Does delaying kindergarten entrance give children a head start?," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 25(1), pages 43-62, February.
- Martin Browning & Ian Crawford & Marike Knoef, 2012. "The age-period cohort problem: set identification and point identification," CeMMAP working papers CWP02/12, Centre for Microdata Methods and Practice, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
- 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.
- Dionissi Aliprantis, 2012. "When should children start school?," Working Paper 1126, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.
- 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.
- 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).
- Sinn, Hans-Werner, 1980.
"A Rehabilitation of the Principle of Insufficient Reason,"
Munich Reprints in Economics
19914, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
- Hans-Werner Sinn, 1980. "A Rehabilitation of the Principle of Insufficient Reason," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 94(3), pages 493-506.
- Patrick Puhani & Andrea Weber, 2007. "Does the early bird catch the worm?," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 32(2), pages 359-386, May.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Hendrik JÃ¼rges & Kerstin Schneider, 2007. "What can go wrong will go wrong: Birthday effects and early tracking in the German school system," MEA discussion paper series 07138, Munich Center for the Economics of Aging (MEA) at the Max Planck Institute for Social Law and Social Policy.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:qss:dqsswp:1307. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Bilal Nasim)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.