Joint analysis of preschool attendance and school performance in the short and long-run

Author(s): Tansini, Ruben; Aguilar, Renato

Date: 2012

Pages: p. 224-231

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This paper aims at explaining the academic performance of a sample of children starting their first year at public schools in Montevideo, Uruguay, during 1999. We are mainly interested in the effect of pre-school education on the children's academic results. Previous probit and OLS estimations suggested that preschool education has a positive impact on short and long term school performance. However, these results could be biased because a rather strong endogeinity of the pre-school education variable. We solved the problem by bivariate probit and treatment effects estimations. The results confirmed the bias and suggest that our previous estimations underestimated the positive effect of pre-school educations. Thus, we found fairly strong empirical evidence to suggest that having pre-school education has a short term positive effect on these children's results in the first year at school, and the long-term effect, after six years, seems to be somewhat weaker but is still positive. We also found several other factors connected with schools and with households that might lie behind children's short-term and long-term performance. It is important to note that, in the long-run, we found that a variable reflecting the general performance of the school had a strong effect on the academic performance after six year.

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