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Early Childhood Intervention and Life-Cycle Skill Development: Evidence from Head Start

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  • David Deming

Abstract

This paper provides new evidence on the long-term benefits of Head Start using the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth. I compare siblings who differ in their participation in the program, controlling for a variety of pre-treatment covariates. I estimate that Head Start participants gain 0.23 standard deviations on a summary index of young adult outcomes. This closes one-third of the gap between children with median and bottom quartile family income, and is about 80 percent as large as model programs such as Perry Preschool. The long-term impact for disadvantaged children is large despite "fadeout" of test score gains. (JEL H52, J13, I28, I38)

Suggested Citation

  • David Deming, 2009. "Early Childhood Intervention and Life-Cycle Skill Development: Evidence from Head Start," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 1(3), pages 111-134, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aejapp:v:1:y:2009:i:3:p:111-34
    Note: DOI: 10.1257/app.1.3.111
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • H52 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Government Expenditures and Education
    • I28 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Government Policy
    • I38 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Government Programs; Provision and Effects of Welfare Programs
    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth

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