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Does Head Start Improve Children's Life Chances? Evidence from a Regression Discontinuity Design

  • Ludwig, Jens

    ()

    (University of Chicago)

  • Miller, Douglas L.

    ()

    (University of California, Davis)

This paper exploits a new source of variation in Head Start funding to identify the program’s effects on health and schooling. In 1965 the Office of Economic Opportunity (OEO) provided technical assistance to the 300 poorest counties to develop Head Start proposals. The result was a large and lasting discontinuity in Head Start funding rates at the OEO cutoff for grant-writing assistance. We find evidence of a large drop at the OEO cutoff in mortality rates for children from causes that could be affected by Head Start, as well as suggestive evidence for a positive effect on educational attainment.

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File URL: http://ftp.iza.org/dp2111.pdf
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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 2111.

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Length: 60 pages
Date of creation: May 2006
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: Quarterly Journal of Economics, 2007, 122 (1), 159-208
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp2111
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  1. Alan B. Krueger, 2003. "Economic Considerations and Class Size," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 113(485), pages F34-F63, February.
  2. Cooper, Suzanne & Piehl, Anne Morrison & Braga, Anthony & Kennedy, David, 2001. "Testing for Structural Breaks in the Evaluation of Programs," Working Paper Series rwp01-019, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
  3. Currie, Janet & Thomas, Duncan, 1995. "Does Head Start Make a Difference?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(3), pages 341-64, June.
  4. Katz, Lawrence & Goldin, Claudia, 2000. "Education and Income in the Early Twentieth Century: Evidence from the Prairies," Scholarly Articles 2766688, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  5. Jeffrey R. Kling & Jens Ludwig & Lawrence F. Katz, 2005. "Neighborhood Effects on Crime for Female and Male Youth: Evidence from a Randomized Housing Voucher Experiment," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 120(1), pages 87-130, January.
  6. Roland G. Fryer, Jr. & Steven D. Levitt, 2002. "Understanding the Black-White Test Score Gap in the First Two Years of School," NBER Working Papers 8975, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Jonathan Guryan, 2001. "Desegregation and Black Dropout Rates," NBER Working Papers 8345, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Eliana Garces & Duncan Thomas & Janet Currie, 2002. "Longer-Term Effects of Head Start," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(4), pages 999-1012, September.
  9. Card, David, 1999. "The causal effect of education on earnings," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 30, pages 1801-1863 Elsevier.
  10. Edward P. Lazear, 2001. "Educational Production," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 116(3), pages 777-803, August.
  11. 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.
  12. Perron, P. & Bai, J., 1995. "Estimating and Testing Linear Models with Multiple Structural Changes," Cahiers de recherche 9552, Centre interuniversitaire de recherche en économie quantitative, CIREQ.
  13. Carneiro, Pedro & Heckman, James J., 2003. "Human Capital Policy," IZA Discussion Papers 821, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  14. Anne Case & Angela Fertig & Christina Paxson, 2003. "From Cradle to Grave? The Lasting Impact of Childhood Health and Circumstance," NBER Working Papers 9788, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Donohue, John J, III & Siegelman, Peter, 1998. "Allocating Resources among Prisons and Social Programs in the Battle against Crime," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 27(1), pages 1-43, January.
  16. Michael Boozer & Alan Krueger & Shari Wolkon, 1992. "Race and School Quality Since Brown vs. Board of Education," Working Papers 681, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
  17. Neal, Derek, 2006. "Why Has Black-White Skill Convergence Stopped?," Handbook of the Economics of Education, Elsevier.
  18. Janet Currie & V. Joseph Hotz, 2001. "Accidents Will Happen? Unintentional Injury, Maternal Employment, and Child Care Policy," NBER Working Papers 8090, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  19. Hahn, Jinyong & Todd, Petra & Van der Klaauw, Wilbert, 2001. "Identification and Estimation of Treatment Effects with a Regression-Discontinuity Design," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 69(1), pages 201-09, January.
  20. Claudia Goldin & Lawrence F. Katz, 1999. "Education and Income in the Early 20th Century: Evidence from the Prairies," NBER Working Papers 7217, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  21. Janet Currie, 2001. "Early Childhood Education Programs," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 15(2), pages 213-238, Spring.
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