The Spillover Benefits of Expanding Access to Preschool
49 Pages Posted: 8 Dec 2018 Last revised: 10 Mar 2019
Date Written: March 7, 2019
I ask do spillover benefits exist from preschool. I exploit district and time variation in access to a state preschool program (CDEP) that targets disadvantaged four-year-olds (those eligible for free or reduced-price lunch or Medicaid). Using a difference-in-differences design, I estimate the effects by CDEP-eligibility status of CDEP exposure (residing in a CDEP district after launch at age four) on test scores. I find that CDEP benefits its targeted population and increases the math and reading scores of exposed, CDEP-ineligible students by about 0.13 and 0.14 standard deviations, respectively. These spillover effects may stem, in whole or in part, from improvements to classroom decorum via fewer behavioral disruptions.
Keywords: early childhood education, peer effects, preschool
JEL Classification: I21, I24
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation