DP9480 Will Sooner Be Better? The Impact of Early Preschool Enrollment on Cognitive and Noncognitive Achievement of Children

Author(s): Olivier Filatriau, Denis Fougère, Maxime Tô
Publication Date: May 2013
Keyword(s): cognitive and noncognitive skills, human capital, preschool, schooling decision
JEL(s): I21, J13
Programme Areas: Labour Economics, Public Economics
Link to this Page: www.cepr.org/active/publications/discussion_papers/dp.php?dpno=9480

In this paper we measure the effect of entering preelementary school at age 2 rather than 3 in France. Our identification strategy relies on ratios between the number of young children and the capacity of preelementary schools observed at the very local level. This information allows us to solve the endogeneity issue due to the potential correlation between unobserved determinants of early enrollment decision and children achievement. We measure this effect on schooling achievement in primary and lower secondary schools. We show that early enrollment in preelementary school improves cognitive and noncognitive skills at age six, and both literacy and numeracy from the third to the ninth grades.