School Entry Age and Children's Social-Behavioral Skills: Evidence from a National Longitudinal Study of US Kindergartners

39 Pages Posted: 15 Nov 2013

See all articles by Ashlesha Datar

Ashlesha Datar

Center for Economic and Social Research (CESR)

Michael Gottfried

Loyola Marymount University

Date Written: November 05, 2013

Abstract

Prior research evaluating school entry-age effects has largely overlooked the effects on social-behavioral skills despite the growing recognition of returns to such skills. This study is the first to examine the effects of kindergarten entry age on children’s social-behavioral outcomes using 9 years of panel data on a national sample of U.S. children. We leverage exogenous variation in birth dates and kindergarten entrance age policies to estimate instrumental variables models. Our results show that entering kindergarten a year later is associated with significantly better social-behavioral outcomes during elementary school. However, these effects largely disappear by the end of middle school. Larger gains over time among younger entrants support the notion that the estimated effects are age-at-test effects.

Suggested Citation

Datar, Ashlesha and Gottfried, Michael, School Entry Age and Children's Social-Behavioral Skills: Evidence from a National Longitudinal Study of US Kindergartners (November 05, 2013). CESR-Schaeffer Working Paper No. 2013-013, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2354649 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2354649

Ashlesha Datar (Contact Author)

Center for Economic and Social Research (CESR) ( email )

635 Downey Way
Los Angeles, CA 90089-3332
United States

Michael Gottfried

Loyola Marymount University ( email )

7900 Loyola Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90045
United States

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