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Early schooling and later outcomes: Evidence from pre-school extension in France

Christelle Dumas () and Arnaud Lefranc ()
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Arnaud Lefranc: CY - CY Cergy Paris Université

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Abstract: Over the 1960s and 1970s, France undertook a large-scale expansion of preschool enrollment. As a result, during this period, the enrollment rate of 3 years old children rose from 35% to 90% and that of 4 years old rose from 60% to virtually 100%. This paper evaluates the effect of such an expansion on subsequent schooling outcomes (repetitions, test scores, high school graduation) and wages. We find some sizeable and persistent effect of preschool and this points to the fact that preschool can be a tool for reducing inequalities. Indeed, the analysis shows that children from worse-off or intermediate social groups benefit more from preschool than children from better-off socioeconomic backgrounds.

Date: 2010-05-01
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Published in From parents to children: the intergenerational transmission of advantage, Russel Sage Foundation, 2010, 978-0-87154-045-4

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