Using data for 9, 13 and 15-year-old students from three different datasets (PIRLS-2006, TIMSS-2007and PISA-2009), we investigate whether the age at school entry affects children school performance atthe fourth, eighth and tenth grade levels. Since student’s age in a grade may be endogenous, we use aninstrumental variable estimation strategy exploiting the exogenous variations in the month of birth coupledwith the entry school cut-off date. We find that younger children score substantially lower than older peersat the fourth, the eighth and the tenth grade. The advantage of older students does not dissipate as they growolder. We do not find any significant effect of the relative age of a child with respect to the classmates’ age.Finally, we show that secondary school students are more likely to be tracked in more academic schoolsrather than in vocational schools if they are born in the early months of the year. From a policy point of viewour results suggest that it might be useful to postpone the entry at school of children, or at least pupils shouldbe prevented to anticipate the age of their entry at school. Tracking should also be delayed.

The Long-Lasting Effects of School Entry Age: Evidence from Italian Students

PONZO, Michela;SCOPPA, VINCENZO
2014

Abstract

Using data for 9, 13 and 15-year-old students from three different datasets (PIRLS-2006, TIMSS-2007and PISA-2009), we investigate whether the age at school entry affects children school performance atthe fourth, eighth and tenth grade levels. Since student’s age in a grade may be endogenous, we use aninstrumental variable estimation strategy exploiting the exogenous variations in the month of birth coupledwith the entry school cut-off date. We find that younger children score substantially lower than older peersat the fourth, the eighth and the tenth grade. The advantage of older students does not dissipate as they growolder. We do not find any significant effect of the relative age of a child with respect to the classmates’ age.Finally, we show that secondary school students are more likely to be tracked in more academic schoolsrather than in vocational schools if they are born in the early months of the year. From a policy point of viewour results suggest that it might be useful to postpone the entry at school of children, or at least pupils shouldbe prevented to anticipate the age of their entry at school. Tracking should also be delayed.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11588/588930
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