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

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  • David Frisvold
  • Julie C. Lumeng

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • David Frisvold & Julie C. Lumeng, 2009. "Expanding Exposure: Can Increasing the Daily Duration of Head Start Reduce Childhood Obesity?," Emory Economics 0906, Department of Economics, Emory University (Atlanta).
  • Handle: RePEc:emo:wp2003:0906
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    1. Daniel L. Millimet & Rusty Tchernis & Muna Husain, 2010. "School Nutrition Programs and the Incidence of Childhood Obesity," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 45(3).
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    6. Kathryn H. Anderson & James E. Foster & David E. Frisvold, 2010. "Investing In Health: The Long-Term Impact Of Head Start On Smoking," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 48(3), pages 587-602, July.
    7. Chris Herbst & Erdal Tekin, 2011. "Child care subsidies and childhood obesity," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 9(3), pages 349-378, September.
    8. Guido W. Imbens & Jeffrey M. Wooldridge, 2009. "Recent Developments in the Econometrics of Program Evaluation," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 47(1), pages 5-86, March.
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    10. 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, Oxford University Press, vol. 122(1), pages 159-208.
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    12. 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.
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    Cited by:

    1. Cory Koedel & Teerachat Techapaisarnjaroenkit, 2012. "The Relative Performance of Head Start," Eastern Economic Journal, Palgrave Macmillan;Eastern Economic Association, vol. 38(2), pages 251-275.
    2. Anderson, Patricia M. & Butcher, Kristin F. & Cascio, Elizabeth U. & Schanzenbach, Diane Whitmore, 2011. "Is being in school better? The impact of school on children's BMI when starting age is endogenous," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(5), pages 977-986.
    3. Nazarov, Zafar E. & Rendall, Michael S., 2014. "Differences by mother’s education in the effect of childcare on child obesity," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 124(2), pages 286-289.
    4. Zafar Nazarov & Michael S. Rendall, 2011. "Differences by Mother's Education in the Effect of Childcare on Child Obesity," Working Papers WR-890, RAND Corporation.
    5. Cawley, John, 2015. "An economy of scales: A selective review of obesity's economic causes, consequences, and solutions," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(C), pages 244-268.
    6. 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.
    7. Lauber, Verena & Thomas, Lampert, 2014. "The Effect of Early Universal Daycare on Child Weight Problems," Annual Conference 2014 (Hamburg): Evidence-based Economic Policy 100399, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    8. Almond, Douglas & Currie, Janet, 2011. "Human Capital Development before Age Five," Handbook of Labor Economics, Elsevier.
    9. Kathryn H. Anderson & James E. Foster & David E. Frisvold, 2010. "Investing In Health: The Long-Term Impact Of Head Start On Smoking," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 48(3), pages 587-602, July.
    10. Belfield, Clive R. & Kelly, Inas Rashad, 2013. "Early education and health outcomes of a 2001 U.S. Birth Cohort," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 11(3), pages 310-325.

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