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Expanding Exposure: Can Increasing the Daily Duration of Head Start Reduce Childhood Obesity?

  • David Frisvold
  • Julie C. Lumeng

Coinciding with the work requirements of welfare reform in the mid-1990s, the early childhood education program, Head Start, increased the availability of full-day classes. Using unique administrative data, we examine the effect of full-day compared to half-day attendance on childhood obesity. This effect is identified using the elimination of a state-provided full-day expansion grant that led to an exogenous decrease in the supply of full-day classes for the program in our study. Our results suggest that full-day Head Start attendance significantly reduces the proportion of obese children at the end of the academic year.

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Paper provided by Department of Economics, Emory University (Atlanta) in its series Emory Economics with number 0906.

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Date of creation: Apr 2009
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Handle: RePEc:emo:wp2003:0906
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://economics.emory.edu/home/journals/
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  1. Jill S. Cannon & Alison Jacknowitz & Gary Painter, 2006. "Is full better than half? Examining the longitudinal effects of full-day kindergarten attendance," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 25(2), pages 299-321.
  2. Wooldridge, Jeffrey M. & Imbens, Guido, 2009. "Recent Developments in the Econometrics of Program Evaluation," Scholarly Articles 3043416, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  3. Marianne Bertrand & Esther Duflo & Sendhil Mullainathan, 2002. "How Much Should We Trust Differences-in-Differences Estimates?," NBER Working Papers 8841, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. James E. Foster & Kathryn H. Anderson & David E. Frisvold, 2008. "Investing in Health: The Long-Term Impact of Head Start on Smoking," Working Papers 2010-25, The George Washington University, Institute for International Economic Policy.
  5. repec:mpr:mprres:6376 is not listed on IDEAS
  6. Jens Ludwig & Douglas L Miller, 2007. "Does Head Start Improve Children's Life Chances? Evidence from a Regression Discontinuity Design," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 122(1), pages 159-208, 02.
  7. Jere R. Behrman & Yingmei Cheng & Petra E. Todd, 2004. "Evaluating Preschool Programs When Length of Exposure to the Program Varies: A Nonparametric Approach," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 86(1), pages 108-132, February.
  8. Diane Whitmore Schanzenbach, 2009. "Do School Lunches Contribute to Childhood Obesity?," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 44(3).
  9. Janet Currie, 2001. "Early Childhood Education Programs," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 15(2), pages 213-238, Spring.
  10. Patricia M. Anderson & Kristin F. Butcher, 2006. "Reading, Writing, and Refreshments: Are School Finances Contributing to Children’s Obesity?," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 41(3).
  11. Jerry West & Louisa Tarullo & Nikki Aikens & Lara Hulsey, 2008. "Study Design and Data Tables for FACES 2006 Baseline Report," Mathematica Policy Research Reports 266d6b01221548ccaacf6de90, Mathematica Policy Research.
  12. 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 111-34, July.
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