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What a Differense a Day Makes: Estimating Daily Learning Gains During Kindergarten and First Grade Using a Natural Experiment

  • Maria Fitzpatrick

    ()

    (Stanford University)

  • David Grissmer

    (University of Virginia)

  • Sarah Hastedt

    (University of Virginia)

Knowing whether time spent in formal schooling increases student achievement, and by how much, is important for policymakers interested in determining efficient use of resources. Using the ECLS-K, we exploit quasi-randomness in the timing of assessment dates to examine this question. Conservative estimates suggest a year of school results in gains of about one standard deviation above normal developmental gains in both reading and math test scores. The results are statistically significant and extremely robust to specification choice, supporting quasi-randomness of test dates. Estimates of skill accumulation due to formal schooling do not vary based on socioeconomic characteristics.

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File URL: http://www-siepr.stanford.edu/repec/sip/08-050.pdf
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Paper provided by Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research in its series Discussion Papers with number 08-050.

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Date of creation: Aug 2009
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Handle: RePEc:sip:dpaper:08-050
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  1. David Card & Alan Krueger, 1990. "Does School Quality Matter? Returns to Education and the Characteristics of Public Schools in the United States," Working Papers 645, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
  2. William T. Gormley, Jr. & Ted Gayer, 2005. "Promoting School Readiness in Oklahoma: An Evaluation of Tulsa's Pre-K Program," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 40(3).
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  8. Alan Krueger, 2000. "Economic Considerations and Class Size," Working Papers 826, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
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  11. 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).
  12. Marcotte, Dave E., 2007. "Schooling and test scores: A mother-natural experiment," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 26(5), pages 629-640, October.
  13. 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.
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  16. Sims, David P., 2008. "Strategic responses to school accountability measures: It's all in the timing," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 27(1), pages 58-68, February.
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