This paper uses data from a randomized evaluation of Head Start to answer two questions: (i) How much do short-run causal effects vary across Head Start centers? and (ii) Do observed inputs explain this variation? I find that the cross-center standard deviation of cognitive effects is 0.18 test score standard deviations, which is larger than typical estimates of variation in teacher or school effectiveness. Centers offering full-day service and home visiting are more effective, while centers that draw more children from center-based preschool have smaller effects. Other key inputs, including the High/Scope curriculum, teacher education, and class size are not correlated with Head Start effectiveness. (JEL H75, I21, I28, J13, J24)
Walters, Christopher R.
"Inputs in the Production of Early Childhood Human Capital: Evidence from Head Start."
American Economic Journal: Applied Economics,
State and Local Government: Health; Education; Welfare; Public Pensions
Analysis of Education
Education: Government Policy
Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity