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Does Head Start Make a Difference?

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  • Currie, Janet
  • Thomas, Duncan

Abstract

The impact of participation in Head Start is investigated using a national sample of children. Comparisons are drawn between siblings to control for selection. Head Start is associated with large and significant gains in test scores among both whites and African-Americans. However, among African-Americans, these gains are quickly lost. Head Start significantly reduces the probability that a white child will repeat a grade but it has no effect on grade repetition among African-American children. Both whites and African-Americans who attend Head Start, or other preschools, gain greater access to preventive health services. Copyright 1995 by American Economic Association.

Suggested Citation

  • Currie, Janet & Thomas, Duncan, 1995. "Does Head Start Make a Difference?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(3), pages 341-364, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:85:y:1995:i:3:p:341-64
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • I38 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Government Programs; Provision and Effects of Welfare Programs
    • H43 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - Project Evaluation; Social Discount Rate

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