Discussion Paper Details

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Title: Cognitive and non-cognitive costs of daycare 0??2 for children in advantaged families

Author(s): Margherita Fort and Giulio Zanella

Publication Date: February 2016

Keyword(s): child development, childcare, cognitive skills, daycare and non-cognitive skills

Programme Area(s): Labour Economics and Public Economics

Abstract: Exploiting admission thresholds to the Bologna daycare system, we show using RDD that one additional daycare month at age 0??2 reduces IQ by 0.5% (4.7% of a s.d.) at age 8??14 in a relatively affluent population. The magnitude of this negative effect increases with family income. Similar negative impacts are found for personality traits. These findings are consistent with the hypothesis from psychology that children in daycare experience fewer one-to-one interactions with adults, with negative effects in families where such interactions are of higher quality. We embed this hypothesis in a model that lends structure to our RDD.

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Bibliographic Reference

Fort, M and Zanella, G. 2016. 'Cognitive and non-cognitive costs of daycare 0??2 for children in advantaged families'. London, Centre for Economic Policy Research.