Becker Friedman Institute

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

This paper provides new estimates of the medium and long-term impacts of Head Start on health and behavioral problems. 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. Participation in the program reduces the incidence of behavioral problems, health problems and obesity of male children at ages 12 and 13. It lowers depression and obesity among adolescents, and reduces engagement in criminal activities and idleness for young adults.

Authors: 
Pedro Carneiro, University College London
Rita Ginja, Uppsala Universitet
Publication Date: 
April, 2014
Publication Status: 
Document Number: 
2014-010