Does Head Start Improve Children's Life Chances? Evidence from a Regression Discontinuity Design

60 Pages Posted: 8 May 2006

See all articles by Jens Ludwig

Jens Ludwig

Georgetown University - Public Policy Institute (GPPI); National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Douglas L. Miller

University of California, Davis - Department of Economics

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: May 2006

Abstract

This paper exploits a new source of variation in Head Start funding to identify the program's effects on health and schooling. In 1965 the Office of Economic Opportunity (OEO) provided technical assistance to the 300 poorest counties to develop Head Start proposals. The result was a large and lasting discontinuity in Head Start funding rates at the OEO cutoff for grantwriting assistance. We find evidence of a large drop at the OEO cutoff in mortality rates for children from causes that could be affected by Head Start, as well as suggestive evidence for a positive effect on educational attainment.

Keywords: early childhood education, poverty, schooling, health, Head Start

JEL Classification: I18, I20, I38

Suggested Citation

Ludwig, Jens and Miller, Douglas L., Does Head Start Improve Children's Life Chances? Evidence from a Regression Discontinuity Design (May 2006). IZA Discussion Paper No. 2111. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=900828

Jens Ludwig (Contact Author)

Georgetown University - Public Policy Institute (GPPI) ( email )

3600 N Street, NW Suite 200
Washington, DC 20057
United States

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

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

Douglas L. Miller

University of California, Davis - Department of Economics ( email )

One Shields Drive
Davis, CA 95616-8578
United States
530-752-8490 (Phone)

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