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

Berlinski, S.; Galiani, S.; Manacorda, M.; (2006) Giving children a better start: preschool attendance and school-age profiles. (IFS Working Papers W06/18). Institute for Fiscal Studies: London, UK. Green open access

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We study the effect of pre-primary education on children's subsequent school outcomes by exploiting a unique feature of the Uruguayan household survey (ECH) that collects retrospective information on preschool attendance. A rapid expansion in the supply of pre-primary places over the last decade generates sufficient variation in the data to warrant identification. Using a within household estimator that only exploits differences in exposure across siblings, we find small gains from preschool attendance at early ages that magnify as children grow up. By age 16, children that attended preschool have accumulated more than 1 extra year of education and are 27 percentage points more likely to be in school compared to their siblings with no preschool education. We 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.

Type: Working / discussion paper
Title: Giving children a better start: preschool attendance and school-age profiles
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1920/wp.ifs.2006.0618
Language: English
Keywords: JEL classification: I20, J10. Preschool, pre-primary education, primary school performance
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Dept of Economics
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/2659
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