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

Posted: 14 Nov 2009

See all articles by David James Deming

David James Deming

Harvard University - Harvard Kennedy School (HKS)

Date Written: July 1, 2009

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.

Keywords: Head Start, NLSY, early childhood, long-term benefits, fadeout

JEL Classification: H52, J13, I28, I38

Suggested Citation

Deming, David James, Early Childhood Intervention and Life-Cycle Skill Development: Evidence from Head Start (July 1, 2009). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1504669

David James Deming (Contact Author)

Harvard University - Harvard Kennedy School (HKS) ( email )

79 John F. Kennedy Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

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