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Giving children a better start : preschool attendance and school-age profiles

  • Berlinski, Samuel
  • Galiani, Sebastian
  • Manacorda, Marco

The authors study the effect of pre-primary education on children's subsequent school outcomes by exploitinga unique feature of the Uruguayan household survey (ECH) that collects retrospective information on preschool attendance in the context of a rapid expansion in the supply of pre-primary places. Using a within household estimator, they find small gains from preschool attendance at early ages that magnify as children grow up. By age 15, treated children have accumulated 0.8 extra years of education and are 27 percentage points more likely to be in school compared with their untreated siblings. Instrumental variables estimates that control for nonrandom selection of siblings into preschool lead to similar results. The authors speculate that early grade repetition harms subsequent school progression and that pre-primary education appears as a successful policy option to prevent early grade failure and its long lasting consequences.

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Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 4240.

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Date of creation: 01 Jun 2007
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Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:4240
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  1. Barro, Robert J & Lee, Jong-Wha, 2001. "International Data on Educational Attainment: Updates and Implications," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 53(3), pages 541-63, July.
  2. Samuel Berlinski & Sebastian Galiani & Paul Gertler, 2006. "The effect of pre-primary education on primary school performance," IFS Working Papers W06/04, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  3. Currie, Janet & Thomas, Duncan, 1995. "Does Head Start Make a Difference?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(3), pages 341-64, June.
  4. Blau, David & Currie, Janet, 2006. "Pre-School, Day Care, and After-School Care: Who's Minding the Kids?," Handbook of the Economics of Education, Elsevier.
  5. James J. Heckman & Jora Stixrud & Sergio Urzua, 2006. "The Effects of Cognitive and Noncognitive Abilities on Labor Market Outcomes and Social Behavior," NBER Working Papers 12006, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. 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.
  7. Katherine A. Magnuson & Christopher J. Ruhm & Jane Waldfogel, 2004. "Does Prekindergarten Improve School Preparation and Performance?," NBER Working Papers 10452, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Flavio Cunha & James J. Heckman & Lance Lochner & Dimitriy V. Masterov, 2005. "Interpreting the Evidence on Life Cycle Skill Formation," NBER Working Papers 11331, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Card, David, 1999. "The causal effect of education on earnings," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 30, pages 1801-1863 Elsevier.
  10. Currie, Janet & Thomas, Duncan, 1999. "Does Head Start help hispanic children?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 74(2), pages 235-262, November.
  11. 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.
  12. Carneiro, Pedro & Heckman, James J., 2003. "Human Capital Policy," IZA Discussion Papers 821, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  13. Michael Anderson, 2005. "Uncovering Gender Differences in the Effects of Early Intervention: A Reevaluation of the Abecedarian, Perry Preschool, and Early Training Projects," HEW 0509008, EconWPA, revised 26 Sep 2005.
  14. Jonah B. Gelbach, 2002. "Public Schooling for Young Children and Maternal Labor Supply," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(1), pages 307-322, March.
  15. Janet Currie, 2001. "Early Childhood Education Programs," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 15(2), pages 213-238, Spring.
  16. Garces, E. & Thomas, D. & Currie, J., 2000. "Longer Term Effects of Head Start," Papers 00-20, RAND - Labor and Population Program.
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