Date of Birth and Selective Schooling
Robert Hart () and
Mirko Moro ()
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Mirko Moro: University of Stirling
No 10949, IZA Discussion Papers from Institute of Labor Economics (IZA)
We examine the effects of date of birth on state selective education using the 1944 Education Act in England and Wales as a natural experiment. We compare the probabilities of gaining selective school entry – which in our study period meant attending a grammar school – before and after the Act using a difference-in-difference approach. Before 1944, grammar school entry was achieved either noncompetitively through fee-paying or free based on a competitive 11+ exam. After 1944, all children were required to take a competitive 11+ exam and about one-third gained a grammar school place. Pre-1944 we find the children born in the middle or late in the school year (January to August) fared significantly worse in gaining a grammar school place than those born at the beginning of the school year (from September to December). Post-1944, the prospects of grammar school entry among children born in the middle of the school year (January to April) improved considerably. We argue that a greater recourse to age standardisation of 11+ test scores may well have accounted for this outcome. The youngest 'summer children' (those born at the end of the school year from May to August) remained significantly disadvantaged, however. A strong influence was the practice of streaming (or tracking) junior school children at age 7 into classes delineated by average ability.
Keywords: 1944 Education Act; date of birth; selective schooling; class streaming (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: I21 I24 I28 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
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