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Cognitive and non-cognitive costs of daycare 0-2 for girls
Exploiting admission thresholds in a Regression Discontinuity Design, we study the causal effects of daycare at age 0-2 on cognitive and non-cognitive outcomes at age 8-14. One additional month in daycare reduces IQ by 0.5% (4.5% of a standard deviation). Effects for conscientiousness are small and imprecisely estimated. Psychologists suggest that children in daycare experience fewer one-to-one interactions with adults, which should be particularly relevant for girls who are more capable than boys of exploiting cognitive stimuli at an early age. In line with this interpretation, losses for girls are larger and more significant, especially in affluent families.
Margherita Fort is Associate Professor at the University of Bologna, where she was hired as Assistant Professor in 2007. She joined IZA as Research Fellow in 2012 and CESifo as Research Affiliate in 2013. Her main research interest are in applied microeconometrics -- with particular focus on treatment effect identification – and labour economics.
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