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Long Term Impacts of Compensatory Preschool on Health and Behavior: Evidence from Head Start

93 Pages Posted: 12 Feb 2012  

Pedro Manuel Carneiro

University College London - Department of Economics; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Rita Ginja

Uppsala University

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Abstract

This paper provides new estimates of the medium and long-term impacts of Head Start on the health and behavioral problems of its participants. We identify these impacts using discontinuities in the probability of participation induced by program eligibility rules. Our strategy allows us to identify the effect of Head Start for the set of individuals in the neighborhoods of multiple discontinuities, which vary with family size, state and year (as opposed to a smaller set of individuals neighboring a single discontinuity). Participation in the program reduces the incidence of behavioral problems, serious health problems and obesity of male children at ages 12 and 13. It also lowers depression and obesity among adolescents, and reduces engagement in criminal activities for young adults.

Keywords: regression discontinuity design, early childhood development, non-cognitive skills, Head Start

JEL Classification: C21, I28, I38

Suggested Citation

Carneiro, Pedro Manuel and Ginja, Rita, Long Term Impacts of Compensatory Preschool on Health and Behavior: Evidence from Head Start. IZA Discussion Paper No. 6315. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2003628

Pedro Manuel Carneiro (Contact Author)

University College London - Department of Economics ( email )

Gower Street
London WC1E 6BT, WC1E 6BT
United Kingdom

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

Rita Ginja

Uppsala University ( email )

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