School Entry, Educational Attainment and Quarter of Birth: A Cautionary Tale of LATE

32 Pages Posted: 22 Jul 2009 Last revised: 18 Oct 2011

Rashmi Barua

Singapore Management University - Department of Economics

Kevin Lang

Boston University - Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: August 1, 2011

Abstract

Partly in response to increased testing and accountability, states and districts have been raising the minimum school entry age, but existing studies show mixed results regarding the effects of entry age. These studies may be severely biased because they violate the monotonicity assumption needed for LATE. We propose an instrument not subject to this bias and show no effect on the educational attainment of children born in the fourth quarter of moving from a December 31 to an earlier cutoff. We then estimate a structural model of optimal entry age that reconciles the different IV estimates including ours. We find that one standard instrument is badly biased but that the other diverges from ours because it estimates a different LATE. We also find that an early entry age cutoff that is applied loosely (as in the 1950s) is beneficial but one that is strictly enforced is not.

Keywords: Educational Attainment, LATE, monotonicity, Quarter of Birth

JEL Classification: I2, J00, C1

Suggested Citation

Barua, Rashmi and Lang, Kevin, School Entry, Educational Attainment and Quarter of Birth: A Cautionary Tale of LATE (August 1, 2011). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1437617 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1437617

Rashmi Barua (Contact Author)

Singapore Management University - Department of Economics ( email )

90 Stamford Road
178903
Singapore

Kevin Lang

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Boston University - Department of Economics ( email )

270 Bay State Road
Boston, MA 02215
United States

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