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Long-Term Impacts of Compensatory Preschool on Health and Behavior: Evidence from Head Start

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  • Pedro Carneiro
  • Rita Ginja

Abstract

This paper provides new estimates of the medium- and long-term impacts of Head Start on health and behavioral problems. We identify these impacts using discontinuities in the probability of participation induced by program eligibility rules. Our strategy allows us to identify the effect of Head Start for the individuals in the neighborhoods of multiple discontinuities. Participation in the program reduces the incidence of behavioral problems, health problems, and obesity of male children at ages 12 and 13. It lowers depression and obesity among adolescents, and it reduces engagement in criminal activities and idleness for young adults.

Suggested Citation

  • Pedro Carneiro & Rita Ginja, 2014. "Long-Term Impacts of Compensatory Preschool on Health and Behavior: Evidence from Head Start," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 6(4), pages 135-173, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aejpol:v:6:y:2014:i:4:p:135-73
    Note: DOI: 10.1257/pol.6.4.135
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • H52 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Government Expenditures and Education
    • I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Behavior
    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education
    • I24 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Education and Inequality
    • 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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