Student performance in elementary schools

Maria Gutiérrez-Domènech, Alícia Adserà

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


This paper studies the association between children's cognitive and non - cognitive development with socioeconomic factors, and school characteristics in Catalonia. The focus of the analysis is on the relevance of the quarter of birth and the school entrance age. The data, collected in 2005, covers children attending 2nd, 4th and 6th grade in a random sample of 191 schools. We find that children born late in the year, close to the December 31st cutoff date, display lower academic performance than those born in the first two quarters, but no difference in social behavior appears by quarter of birth. The matu rity gap does not seem to disappear as children advance into later grades. Children who attended nursery school generally do better than those who started school either at preschool (around 3 years old) or later. This relationship weakens when origin and family education controls are included in the analysis. Among other demographic characteristics, children raised in non-nuclear families, with low educated parents, with little exposure to after school activities or born outside Spain tend to underperform others at school.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)135-164
Number of pages30
JournalRevista de Economia Aplicada
Issue number59
StatePublished - 2012

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Economics, Econometrics and Finance


  • Educational economics
  • Entrance age
  • Family
  • Quarter of birth
  • School performance
  • Use of time


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