IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/nbr/nberwo/17452.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Does Head Start Do Any Lasting Good?

Author

Listed:
  • Chloe Gibbs
  • Jens Ludwig
  • Douglas L. Miller

Abstract

Head Start is a federal early childhood intervention designed to reduce disparities in preschool outcomes. The first randomized experimental study of Head Start, the National Head Start Impact Study (NHSIS), found impacts on academic outcomes of .15 to .3 standard deviations measured at the end of the program year, although the estimated impacts were no longer significant when measured at the end of kindergarten or first grade. Assessments that Head Start is ineffective based on the NHSIS results are in our view premature, given our currently limited understanding of how and why early childhood education improves long-term life chances. Many of the specific changes to Head Start that have been proposed could potentially wind up doing more harm than good.

Suggested Citation

  • Chloe Gibbs & Jens Ludwig & Douglas L. Miller, 2011. "Does Head Start Do Any Lasting Good?," NBER Working Papers 17452, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:17452
    Note: CH
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w17452.pdf
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. 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 111-134, July.
    2. 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.
    3. James Heckman & Flavio Cunha, 2007. "The Technology of Skill Formation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(2), pages 31-47, May.
    4. 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.
    5. 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.
    6. Currie, Janet & Thomas, Duncan, 1995. "Does Head Start Make a Difference?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(3), pages 341-364, June.
    7. Carneiro, Pedro & Heckman, James J., 2003. "Human Capital Policy," IZA Discussion Papers 821, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    8. 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.
    9. Janet Currie & Duncan Thomas, 1999. "Early Test Scores, Socioeconomic Status and Future Outcomes," NBER Working Papers 6943, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. Jonathan Gruber & Sendhil Mullainathan, 2006. "Do Cigarette Taxes Make Smokers Happier?," Palgrave Macmillan Books, in: Yew-Kwang Ng & Lok Sang Ho (ed.), Happiness and Public Policy, chapter 6, pages 109-146, Palgrave Macmillan.
    11. Murnane, Richard J & Willett, John B & Levy, Frank, 1995. "The Growing Importance of Cognitive Skills in Wage Determination," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 77(2), pages 251-266, May.
    12. Jonathan Gruber & Botond Koszegi, 2002. "A Theory of Government Regulation of Addictive Bads: Optimal Tax Levels and Tax Incidence for Cigarette Excise Taxation," NBER Working Papers 8777, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    13. Philip J. Cook & Jens Ludwig, 2006. "Aiming for evidence-based gun policy," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 25(3), pages 691-735.
    14. Jens Ludwig & Deborah A. Phillips, 2007. "The Benefits and Costs of Head Start," NBER Working Papers 12973, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    15. Magnuson, Katherine A. & Ruhm, Christopher & Waldfogel, Jane, 2007. "Does prekindergarten improve school preparation and performance?," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 26(1), pages 33-51, February.
    16. 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).
    17. Vivian C. Wong & Thomas D. Cook & W. Steven Barnett & Kwanghee Jung, 2008. "An effectiveness-based evaluation of five state pre-kindergarten programs," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 27(1), pages 122-154.
    18. Card, David, 2001. "Estimating the Return to Schooling: Progress on Some Persistent Econometric Problems," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 69(5), pages 1127-1160, September.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. John A. List & Fatemeh Momeni & Yves Zenou, 2020. "The Social Side of Early Human Capital Formation: Using a Field Experiment to Estimate the Causal Impact of Neighborhoods," Working Papers 2020-187, Becker Friedman Institute for Research In Economics.
    2. Patrick Kline & Christopher R. Walters, 2016. "Evaluating Public Programs with Close Substitutes: The Case of HeadStart," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 131(4), pages 1795-1848.
    3. Monique De Haan & Edwin Leuven, 2020. "Head Start and the Distribution of Long-Term Education and Labor Market Outcomes," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 38(3), pages 727-765.
    4. Packham, Analisa & Street, Brittany, 2019. "The effects of physical education on student fitness, achievement, and behavior," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 72(C), pages 1-18.
    5. Zhai, Fuhua & Raver, C. Cybele & Jones, Stephanie M., 2012. "Academic performance of subsequent schools and impacts of early interventions: Evidence from a randomized controlled trial in Head Start settings," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 34(5), pages 946-954.
    6. Rucker C. Johnson & C. Kirabo Jackson, 2019. "Reducing Inequality through Dynamic Complementarity: Evidence from Head Start and Public School Spending," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 11(4), pages 310-349, November.
    7. Wan, Sirui & Bond, Timothy N. & Lang, Kevin & Clements, Douglas H. & Sarama, Julie & Bailey, Drew H., 2021. "Is intervention fadeout a scaling artefact?," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 82(C).
    8. List, John & Momeni, Fatemeh & Zenou, Yves, 2019. "Are Estimates of Early Education Programs Too Pessimistic? Evidence from a Large-Scale Field Experiment that Causally Measures Neighbor Effects," CEPR Discussion Papers 13725, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    9. Avi Feller & Fabrizia Mealli & Luke Miratrix, 2017. "Principal Score Methods: Assumptions, Extensions, and Practical Considerations," Journal of Educational and Behavioral Statistics, , vol. 42(6), pages 726-758, December.
    10. Douglas J. Besharov & Douglas M. Call & Jason M. Scott, 2020. "PROTOCOL: Early childhood education programs for improving the development and achievement of low‐income children: a systematic review," Campbell Systematic Reviews, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 16(3), September.
    11. Gelber, Alexander & Isen, Adam, 2013. "Children's schooling and parents' behavior: Evidence from the Head Start Impact Study," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 101(C), pages 25-38.
    12. Christopher R. Walters, 2015. "Inputs in the Production of Early Childhood Human Capital: Evidence from Head Start," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 7(4), pages 76-102, October.
    13. Ruhm, Christopher J. & Waldfogel, Jane, 2011. "Long-Term Effects of Early Childhood Care and Education," IZA Discussion Papers 6149, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    14. F. Chris Curran, 2019. "Estimating the Relationship Between Preschool Attendance and Kindergarten Science Achievement: Implications for Early Science Achievement Gaps," Education Finance and Policy, MIT Press, vol. 14(2), pages 210-241, Spring.
    15. Alexander M. Gelber & Adam Isen, 2011. "Children's Schooling and Parents' Investment in Children: Evidence from the Head Start Impact Study," NBER Working Papers 17704, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Jens Ludwig & Deborah A. Phillips, 2007. "The Benefits and Costs of Head Start," NBER Working Papers 12973, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. 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.
    3. Almond, Douglas & Currie, Janet, 2011. "Human Capital Development before Age Five," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 4, chapter 15, pages 1315-1486, Elsevier.
    4. Will Dobbie & Roland G. Fryer, Jr, 2009. "Are High Quality Schools Enough to Close the Achievement Gap? Evidence from a Social Experiment in Harlem," NBER Working Papers 15473, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Brutti, Zelda & Montolio, Daniel, 2021. "Preventing criminal minds: Early education access and adult offending behavior," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 191(C), pages 97-126.
    6. Cunha, Flavio & Heckman, James J. & Lochner, Lance, 2006. "Interpreting the Evidence on Life Cycle Skill Formation," Handbook of the Economics of Education, in: Erik Hanushek & F. Welch (ed.), Handbook of the Economics of Education, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 12, pages 697-812, Elsevier.
    7. Rossin-Slater, Maya & Wüst, Miriam, 2016. "What is the Added Value of Preschool? Long-Term Impacts and Interactions with a Health Intervention," IZA Discussion Papers 10254, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    8. Magnuson, Katherine & Shager, Hilary, 2010. "Early education: Progress and promise for children from low-income families," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 32(9), pages 1186-1198, September.
    9. Sneha Elango & Jorge Luis García & James J. Heckman & Andrés Hojman, 2015. "Early Childhood Education," NBER Chapters, in: Economics of Means-Tested Transfer Programs in the United States, Volume 2, pages 235-297, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. Maya Rossin-Slater & Miriam Wüst, 2016. "What is the Added Value of Preschool for Poor Children? Long-Term and Intergenerational Impacts and Interactions with an Infant Health Intervention," NBER Working Papers 22700, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    11. Elizabeth M. Caucutt & Lance Lochner & Youngmin Park, 2017. "Correlation, Consumption, Confusion, or Constraints: Why Do Poor Children Perform so Poorly?," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 119(1), pages 102-147, January.
    12. Herbst, Chris M. & Tekin, Erdal, 2010. "Child care subsidies and child development," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 29(4), pages 618-638, August.
    13. Kautz, Tim & Heckman, James J. & Diris, Ron & ter Weel, Bas & Borghans, Lex, 2014. "Fostering and Measuring Skills: Improving Cognitive and Non-Cognitive Skills to Promote Lifetime Success," IZA Discussion Papers 8696, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    14. Philip J. Cook & Jens Ludwig, 2010. "Economical Crime Control," NBER Working Papers 16513, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    15. 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.
    16. Drange, Nina & Havnes, Tarjei & Sandsør, Astrid M.J., 2016. "Kindergarten for all: Long run effects of a universal intervention," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 53(C), pages 164-181.
    17. Norbert Schady, 2006. "Early Childhood Development in Latin America and the Caribbean," Economía Journal, The Latin American and Caribbean Economic Association - LACEA, vol. 0(Spring 20), pages 185-225, January.
    18. Vegas, Emiliana & Santibáñez, Lucrecia, 2018. "The Promise of Early Childhood Development in Latin America and the Caribbean," IDB Publications (Books), Inter-American Development Bank, number 362, December.
    19. Patrick Kline & Christopher R. Walters, 2016. "Evaluating Public Programs with Close Substitutes: The Case of HeadStart," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 131(4), pages 1795-1848.
    20. Gonzalez, Kathryn E., 2020. "Within-family differences in Head Start participation and parent investment," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 74(C).

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education
    • I38 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Government Programs; Provision and Effects of Welfare Programs

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:17452. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: . General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/nberrus.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/nberrus.html .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.