Autor: Edo María, Pernigotti Rebullida Facundo
JEL: I2, I3
The organization of levels in the schooling system determines, among other things, the age at which students transition to secondary school. This may be relevant to students’ academic achievement. For instance, teaching methodology may change and younger children may be more susceptible to older peers’ influence who tend to perform poorly in secondary school. In this paper, we explore the effects of the grade configuration reform induced by the National Education Law of Argentina implemented in 2006, which allowed provinces to choose whether children completed 7 or 6 school years in primary school, thus transitioning at different ages to secondary school. Following a difference-in-difference methodology we show that delaying transition to secondary school by one year is associated to a 2 percentage point increase in high school graduation rates. Effects are driven by boys and are larger among students from poor households.