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Kindergarten for all: Long run effects of a universal intervention

Theory and evidence points towards particularly positive effects of high-quality child care for disadvantaged children. At the same time, disadvantaged families often sort out of existing programs. To counter differences in learning outcomes between children from different socioeconomic backgrounds, European governments are pushing for universal child care. However, empirical evidence on the effects of universal programs is scarce. We provide evidence on the long-run effect on schooling of mandating kindergarten at age 5--6. Our identifying variation comes from a reform that lowered school starting-age from 7 to 6 in Norway in 1997. Our precise DD estimates reveal hardly any effect, both overall, across subsamples, and over the grading distribution. A battery of specification checks supports our empirical strategy.

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Paper provided by Statistics Norway, Research Department in its series Discussion Papers with number 695.

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Date of creation: Jun 2012
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Handle: RePEc:ssb:dispap:695
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  1. Esther Duflo, 2001. "Schooling and Labor Market Consequences of School Construction in Indonesia: Evidence from an Unusual Policy Experiment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(4), pages 795-813, September.
  2. Leuven, Edwin & Lindahl, Mikael & Oosterbeek, Hessel & Webbink, Dinand, 2010. "Expanding schooling opportunities for 4-year-olds," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 29(3), pages 319-328, June.
  3. Baker, Michael, 2011. "Universal Early Childhood Interventions: What is the Evidence Base?," CLSSRN working papers clsrn_admin-2011-29, Vancouver School of Economics, revised 28 Nov 2011.
  4. Flavio Cunha & James Heckman & Susanne Schennach, 2010. "Estimating the Technology of Cognitive and Noncognitive Skill Formation," NBER Working Papers 15664, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Michael Baker, 2011. "Innis Lecture: Universal early childhood interventions: what is the evidence base?," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 44(4), pages 1069-1105, November.
  6. Berlinski, Samuel & Galiani, Sebastian & Manacorda, Marco, 2008. "Giving children a better start: Preschool attendance and school-age profiles," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(5-6), pages 1416-1440, June.
  7. Eric Bettinger & Torbjørn Hægeland & Mari Rege, 2013. "Home with Mom: The effects of stay-at-home parents on children’s long-run educational outcomes," Discussion Papers 739, Statistics Norway, Research Department.
  8. Sergio Firpo & Nicole M. Fortin & Thomas Lemieux, 2009. "Unconditional Quantile Regressions," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 77(3), pages 953-973, 05.
  9. Michael Baker & Jonathan Gruber & Kevin Milligan, 2006. "Universal Childcare, Maternal Labor Supply, and Family Well-Being," Working Papers id:547, eSocialSciences.
  10. Katrine V. L�ken & Magne Mogstad & Matthew Wiswall, 2012. "What Linear Estimators Miss: The Effects of Family Income on Child Outcomes," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 4(2), pages 1-35, April.
  11. Loken, Katrine Vellesen & Mogstad, Magne & Wiswall, Matthew, 2010. "What Linear Estimators Miss: Re-Examining the Effects of Family Income on Child Outcomes," IZA Discussion Papers 4971, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  12. Gordon B. Dahl & Lance Lochner, 2005. "The Impact of Family Income on Child Achievement," NBER Working Papers 11279, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Fitzpatrick Maria D, 2008. "Starting School at Four: The Effect of Universal Pre-Kindergarten on Children's Academic Achievement," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 8(1), pages 1-40, November.
  14. Havnes, Tarjei & Mogstad, Magne, 2010. "Is Universal Child Care Leveling the Playing Field? Evidence from Non-Linear Difference-in-Differences," IZA Discussion Papers 4978, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  15. Nabanita Datta Gupta & Marianne Simonsen, 2007. "Non-cognitive Child Outcomes and Universal High Quality Child Care," Economics Working Papers 2007-17, School of Economics and Management, University of Aarhus.
  16. Berlinski, Samuel & Galiani, Sebastian, 2007. "The effect of a large expansion of pre-primary school facilities on preschool attendance and maternal employment," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 14(3), pages 665-680, June.
  17. Lundin, Daniela & Mörk, Eva & Öckert, Björn, 2008. "How far can reduced childcare prices push female labour supply?," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(4), pages 647-659, August.
  18. David Deming, 2009. "Early Childhood Intervention and Life-Cycle Skill Development: Evidence from Head Start," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 1(3), pages 111-34, July.
  19. Barnett, W. Steven & Belfield, Clive R., 2006. "Early childhood development and social mobility," MPRA Paper 858, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  20. Pierre Lefebvre & Philip Merrigan, 2008. "Child-Care Policy and the Labor Supply of Mothers with Young Children: A Natural Experiment from Canada," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 26(3), pages 519-548, 07.
  21. Tarjei Havnes & Magne Mogstad, 2012. "Is Universal Child Care Leveling the Playing Field?," CESifo Working Paper Series 4014, CESifo Group Munich.
  22. Elizabeth U. Cascio, 2009. "Do Investments in Universal Early Education Pay Off? Long-term Effects of Introducing Kindergartens into Public Schools," NBER Working Papers 14951, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  23. 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.
  24. Anderson, Michael L., 2008. "Multiple Inference and Gender Differences in the Effects of Early Intervention: A Reevaluation of the Abecedarian, Perry Preschool, and Early Training Projects," Journal of the American Statistical Association, American Statistical Association, vol. 103(484), pages 1481-1495.
  25. Janet Currie, 2001. "Early Childhood Education Programs," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 15(2), pages 213-238, Spring.
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