Introduction of Head Start and Maternal Labor Supply: Evidence from a Regression Discontinuity Design
37 Pages Posted: 3 Aug 2016
Date Written: July 1, 2016
I use the non-public decennial censuses in 1970 to investigate the effect of the Head Start program on maternal labor supply and schooling in its early years. I exploit a discontinuity in county-level Head Start funding beginning in the late 1960s to explore differences in county level maternal employment and maternal schooling. The results provide suggestive evidence that the more availability of Head Start led to an increase the nursery school enrollment of children and a decrease in maternal labor supply. In addition, the ITT estimates imply a relatively large, negative effect of enrollment on maternal labor supply. However, the estimates are somewhat sensitive to addition of covariates and the standard errors are also large to draw firm inferences.
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