Who wants to go to school? Lessons from reforming (back and forth) the school entry age in Poland
Languages of publication
The goal of this paper – set in the context of the reform to lower the school starting age in Poland – is to investigate the determinants of parental decisions to enrol their six-year-old children in the 1st grade versus leaving them in preschool or preparatory class. It was found that starting school before the compulsory term occurs primarily in response to objective symptoms of a child’s readiness for school, but there is also some evidence for a deliberate investment in education by parents with a higher socio-economic status. Finally, early enrolment may also be driven by a cost-reducing strategy. The discussion highlights the possible reasons for the political failure of school age reform, which was recently cancelled after having been gradually introduced for six years.
- Altwicker-Hámori, S. and Köllö, J. (2012). Whose children gain from starting school later? Evidence from Hungary. Educational Research and Evaluation, 18(5), 459–488.
- Bassok, D. and Reardon, S. F. (2013). Academic redshirting in kindergarten: prevalence, patterns, and implications. Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, 35(3), 283–297.
- Black, S. E., Devereux, P. J. and Salvanes, K. G. (2011). Too young to leave the nest? The effects of school starting age. Review of Economics and Statistics, 93(2), 455–467.
- Chen, Q. (2015). Ready for school? Impacts of delayed primary school enrolment on children's educational outcomes in rural China. International Journal of Educational Development, 45, 112–128.
- Datar, A. (2006). Does delaying kindergarten entrance give children a head start? Economics of Education Review, 25(1), 43–62.
- Deming, D. and Dynarski, S. (2008). The lengthening of childhood. Journal of Economic Perspectives, 22(3), 71–92.
- Eurydice (2013). Compulsory age of starting school in European countries. [Eurydice briefing] Retrieved from https://www.nfer.ac.uk/eurydice/compulsory-age-of-starting-school.html
- Fertig, M. and Kluve, J. (2005). The effect of age at school entry on educational attainment in Germany. IZA Discussion Paper No 1507. Bonn: Institute for the Study of Labor.
- Fort, M. (2006). Educational reforms across Europe: a toolbox for empirical research. Padova: Department of Economics and Department of Statistical Sciences, University of Padova.
- Fredriksson, P. and Öckert, B. (2014). Life-cycle effects of age at school start. Economic Journal, 124(579), 977–1004.
- Graue, M. E. and DiPerna, J. (2000). Redshirting and early retention: who gets the „gift of time” and what are its outcomes? American Educational Research Journal, 37(2), 509–534.
- Herbst, M. and Strawiński, P. (2016). Early effects of an early start: evidence from lowering the school starting age in Poland. Journal of Policy Modeling, 38(2), 256–271.
- Kaczan, R. and Rycielski, P. (eds.). (2014). Badanie 6- i 7-latków – rok szkolny 2012/2013. Warszawa: Instytut Badań Edukacyjnych.
- Konarzewski, K. (2014). The effect of school entrance age on academic performance. Edukacja, 130(5), 5–18.
- Konnikova, M. (2013). Youngest kid, smartest kid? The New Yorker, September, 19.
- National Foundation for Educational Research (2016). Compulsory age of starting school in European countries. Retrieved from https://www.nfer.ac.uk/eurydice/compulsory-age-of-starting-school.html
- Ponzo, M. and Scoppa, V. (2014). The long-lasting effects of school entry age: evidence from Italian students. Journal of Policy Modeling, 36(3), 578–599.
- Puhani, P. and Weber, A. (2007). Does the early bird catch the worm? Empirical Economics, 322(3), 359–386.
- Schneeweis, N. and Zweimüller, M. (2014). Early tracking and the misfortune of being young. Scandinavian Journal of Economics, 116(2), 394–428.
- Sert, N. (2014). School entry age: 66 months of age for literacy skills. Procedia – Social and Behavioral Sciences, 141, 25–29.
- Sharp, C. (1988). Starting school at four. Research Papers in Education, 3(1), 64–90.
- West, A., Banfield, S. and Varlaam, A. (1990). Evaluation of an early entry to infant school pilot exercise. Research Papers in Education, 5(3), 229–250.
- Williams, R. (2012). Using the margins command to estimate and interpret adjusted predictions and marginal effects. Stata Journal, 12(2), 308–331.
Publication order reference