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Actual age at school entry, educational outcomes, and earnings

By Daiji Kawaguchi

Abstract

This paper reports on the effect of actual age measured by month at school entry on test scores, eventual educational attainment, and labor market outcomes, using school test score data and a labor force survey of Japan. Japan is an ideal country for examining the pure effect of actual age at school entry on eventual years of education because the length of compulsory education does not vary by birth month and legal administrations assure that almost all children follow a fixed schedule of grade progress. Older children of both sexes in a school cohort obtain higher test scores and more education years than their younger counterparts. This better academic performance translates into higher annual earnings among males.Birth month Relative age effect Child development Education Income Japan

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