Do School Entry Laws Affect Educational Attainment and Labor Market Outcomes?
26 Pages Posted: 12 May 2009 Last revised: 10 May 2012
Date Written: May 2009
Age based school entry laws force parents and educators to consider an important tradeoff: Though students who are the youngest in their school cohort typically have poorer academic performance, on average, they have slightly higher educational attainment. In this paper we document that for a large cohort of California and Texas natives the school entry laws increased educational attainment of students who enter school early, but also lowered their academic performance while in school. However, we find no evidence that the age at which children enter school effects job market outcomes, such as wages or the probability of employment. This suggests that the net effect on adult labor market outcomes of the increased educational attainment and poorer academic performance is close to zero.
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