Age at School Entry and Human Capital Development: Evidence from Lesotho

  • Starts4:00 pm on Wednesday, November 17, 2021
  • Ends5:00 pm on Wednesday, November 17, 2021

Children starting school at younger ages have more potential years of education before they age out of compulsory schooling. However, early-starters also progress through school as the youngest in their grade. A large literature has assessed the impact of these countervailing forces in upper-income countries, finding mixed results; yet there is scant evidence from lower-income countries. Using data from multiple national surveys in Lesotho, a new study assesses the impact of entering school at younger ages on a range of human capital development outcomes. The research found initial benefits of early school enrollment quickly dissipate as young-for-grade students fall behind in math and reading. Additionally, as they progress through childhood, young-for-grade students are more likely to drop out and have substantially lower total years of schooling, higher rates of manual labor, higher rates of early childbearing and higher HIV prevalence.

As part of the Fall 2021 Human Capital Research Seminar, join Jacob Bor, Jan-Walter de Neve and Ramaele Moshoeshoe for a discussion on school entry age and human capital development with evidence from Lesotho.

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