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American Economic Journal: Applied Economics: Vol. 1 No. 3 (July 2009)

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Early Childhood Intervention and Life-Cycle Skill Development: Evidence from Head Start

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Deming, David. 2009. "Early Childhood Intervention and Life-Cycle Skill Development: Evidence from Head Start." American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, 1(3): 111-34.

DOI: 10.1257/app.1.3.111

Abstract

This paper provides new evidence on the long-term benefits of Head Start using the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth. I compare siblings who differ in their participation in the program, controlling for a variety of pre-treatment covariates. I estimate that Head Start participants gain 0.23 standard deviations on a summary index of young adult outcomes. This closes one-third of the gap between children with median and bottom quartile family income, and is about 80 percent as large as model programs such as Perry Preschool. The long-term impact for disadvantaged children is large despite "fadeout" of test score gains. (JEL H52, J13, I28, I38)

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Authors

Deming, David (Harvard U)

JEL Classifications

H52: National Government Expenditures and Education
I28: Education: Government Policy
I38: Welfare and Poverty: Government Programs; Provision and Effects of Welfare Programs
J13: Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth

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