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Summer‐born struggle: The effect of school starting age on health, education, and work

Abstract Children starting school older consistently exhibit better educational outcomes. In this paper, we underscore child development as a mechanism driving this effect. Using unique administrative data on health examinations, we study the causal effect of school starting age (SSA) on a child's probability of being diagnosed with special educational needs in early grades. Results show that children with higher SSA are less likely to develop behavioral problems and speech impediments, whereas learning disabilities, ADHD, and dyslexia/dyscalculia remain unaffected. Importantly, these effects only arise after primary school entry and are not due to preexisting health conditions. We also ...

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