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

  • David Deming

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)

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File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/articles.php?doi=10.1257/app.1.3.111
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File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/aej/app/data/2008-0217_data.zip
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Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal American Economic Journal: Applied Economics.

Volume (Year): 1 (2009)
Issue (Month): 3 (July)
Pages: 111-34

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Handle: RePEc:aea:aejapp:v:1:y:2009:i:3:p:111-34
Note: DOI: 10.1257/app.1.3.111
Contact details of provider: Web page: https://www.aeaweb.org/aej-applied
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  1. Jeffrey R. Kling & Jens Ludwig & Lawrence F. Katz, 2004. "Neighborhood Effects on Crime for Female and Male Youth: Evidence from a Randomized Housing Voucher Experiment," NBER Working Papers 10777, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Joseph G. Altonji & Todd E. Elder & Christopher R. Taber, 2000. "Selection on Observed and Unobserved Variables: Assessing the Effectiveness of Catholic Schools," NBER Working Papers 7831, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Ludwig, Jens & Miller, Douglas L., 2006. "Does Head Start Improve Children's Life Chances? Evidence from a Regression Discontinuity Design," IZA Discussion Papers 2111, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  4. Abhijit V. Banerjee & Shawn Cole & Esther Duflo & Leigh Linden, 2007. "Remedying Education: Evidence from Two Randomized Experiments in India," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 122(3), pages 1235-1264, 08.
  5. Janet Currie & Duncan Thomas, 2000. "School Quality and the Longer-Term Effects of Head Start," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 35(4), pages 755-774.
  6. Michael Kremer & Edward Miguel & Rebecca Thornton, 2009. "Incentives to Learn," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 91(3), pages 437-456, August.
  7. Anderson, Michael L., 2008. "Multiple Inference and Gender Differences in the Effects of Early Intervention: A Reevaluation of the Abecedarian, Perry Preschool, and Early Training Projects," Journal of the American Statistical Association, American Statistical Association, vol. 103(484), pages 1481-1495.
  8. Clive R Belfield & Milagros Nores & Steve Barnett & Lawrence Schweinhart, 2006. "The High/Scope Perry Preschool Program: Cost–Benefit Analysis Using Data from the Age-40 Followup," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 41(1).
  9. Darren Lubotsky & Martin Wittenberg, 2001. "Interpretation of Regressions with Multiple Proxies," Econometrics 0110005, EconWPA.
  10. Currie, Janet & Neidell, Matthew, 2007. "Getting inside the "Black Box" of Head Start quality: What matters and what doesn't," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 26(1), pages 83-99, February.
  11. Janet Currie, 2001. "Early Childhood Education Programs," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 15(2), pages 213-238, Spring.
  12. Lance Lochner & Enrico Moretti, 2004. "The Effect of Education on Crime: Evidence from Prison Inmates, Arrests, and Self-Reports," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(1), pages 155-189, March.
  13. Levin, Henry M. & Belfield, Clive & Muennig, Peter & Rouse, Cecilia, 2007. "The public returns to public educational investments in African-American males," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 26(6), pages 699-708, December.
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