The Benefits and Costs of Head Start
AbstractIn this essay we review what is known about Head Start and argue that the program is likely to generate benefits to participants and society as a whole that are large enough to justify the program's costs. Our conclusions differ importantly from those offered in some previous reviews because we use a more appropriate standard to judge the success of Head Start (namely, benefit-cost analysis), draw on new accumulating evidence for Head Start's long-term effects on early cohorts of program participants, and discuss why common interpretations of a recent randomized experimental evaluation of Head Start's short-term impacts may be overly pessimistic. While in principle there could be more beneficial ways of deploying Head Start resources, the benefits of such changes remain uncertain and there is some downside risk.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 12973.
Date of creation: Mar 2007
Date of revision:
Publication status: published as Ludwig, Jens and Deborah A. Phillips (2007) “The Benefits and Costs of Head Start.” Society for Research on Child Development, Social Policy Report. Volume XXI, Number 3.
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Find related papers by JEL classification:
- H43 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - Project Evaluation; Social Discount Rate
- I2 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education
- I3 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2007-03-17 (All new papers)
- NEP-PBE-2007-03-17 (Public Economics)
- NEP-PPM-2007-03-17 (Project, Program & Portfolio Management)
- NEP-URE-2007-03-17 (Urban & Real Estate Economics)
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