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School quality and the development of cognitive skills between age four and six


Borghans, Lex; Golsteyn, Bart H H; Zölitz, Ulf (2015). School quality and the development of cognitive skills between age four and six. PLoS ONE, 10(7):e0129700.

Abstract

This paper studies the extent to which young children develop their cognitive ability in high and low quality schools. We use a representative panel data set containing cognitive test scores of 4-6 year olds in Dutch schools. School quality is measured by the school’s average achievement test score at age 12. Our results indicate that children in high-quality schools develop their skills substantially faster than those in low-quality schools. The results remain robust to the inclusion of initial ability, parental background, and neighborhood controls. Moreover, using proximity to higher-achieving schools as an instrument for school choice corroborates the results. The robustness of the results points toward a causal interpretation, although it is not possible to erase all doubt about unobserved confounding factors.

Abstract

This paper studies the extent to which young children develop their cognitive ability in high and low quality schools. We use a representative panel data set containing cognitive test scores of 4-6 year olds in Dutch schools. School quality is measured by the school’s average achievement test score at age 12. Our results indicate that children in high-quality schools develop their skills substantially faster than those in low-quality schools. The results remain robust to the inclusion of initial ability, parental background, and neighborhood controls. Moreover, using proximity to higher-achieving schools as an instrument for school choice corroborates the results. The robustness of the results points toward a causal interpretation, although it is not possible to erase all doubt about unobserved confounding factors.

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Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:03 Faculty of Economics > Department of Economics
06 Faculty of Arts > Jacobs Center for Productive Youth Development
03 Faculty of Economics > UBS International Center of Economics in Society
Dewey Decimal Classification:370 Education
Language:English
Date:16 July 2015
Deposited On:21 Oct 2019 13:20
Last Modified:21 Oct 2019 13:20
Publisher:Public Library of Science (PLoS)
ISSN:1932-6203
OA Status:Gold
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0129700

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