School Entry Cutoff Date and the Timing of Births

55 Pages Posted: 24 Jul 2013 Last revised: 17 Apr 2015

See all articles by Hitoshi Shigeoka

Hitoshi Shigeoka

Simon Fraser University (SFU); National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: September 16, 2014


Using birth records in Japan, where school entry rule is strictly enforced, this paper shows that more than 1,800 births a year are shifted from one week before the school entry cutoff date to one week following the cutoff date. Because older children perform better academically than their younger peers, parents who value potential long-term academic gains over the short-term gain of childcare cost savings do exploit birth timing as a means of early childhood investment. Heterogeneous responses by parents violate the assumption of regression discontinuity design that births around the school entry cutoff dates are random.

Keywords: school entry cutoff date, timing of births, relative age effects, red-shirting, regression-discontinuity design

JEL Classification: J13, J11, I24

Suggested Citation

Shigeoka, Hitoshi, School Entry Cutoff Date and the Timing of Births (September 16, 2014). Available at SSRN: or

Hitoshi Shigeoka (Contact Author)

Simon Fraser University (SFU) ( email )

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National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) ( email )

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