Expanding schooling opportunities for 4-year-olds

E Leuven, M Lindahl, H Oosterbeek, Dinand Webbink

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

32 Citations (Scopus)


We use a novel quasi-experimental strategy to estimate the effect of expanding early schooling enrollment possibilities on early achievement. It exploits two features of the school system in The Netherlands. The first is rolling admissions; children are allowed to start school immediately after their 4th birthday instead of at the beginning of the school year. The second is that children having their birthday before, during and after the summer holiday are placed in the same class. These features generate sufficient exogenous variation in children’s enrollment opportunities to identify its effects on test scores. Making available one additional month of time in school increases language scores of disadvantaged pupils by 6 percent of a standard deviation and their math scores by 5 percent of a standard deviation. For non-disadvantaged pupils we find no effect.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)319-328
Number of pages10
JournalEconomics of Education Review
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2010


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