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Department of Economics, Uppsala University Working Paper Series, Uppsala Center for Labor Studies, Department of Economics, Uppsala University

No 2012:6:
Long Term Impacts of Compensatory Preschool on Health and Behavior: Evidence from Head Start

Pedro Carneiro and Rita Ginja ()

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; (follow links to similar papers)

JEL-Codes: C21; I28; I38; (follow links to similar papers)

84 pages, February 13, 2012

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This paper is published as:
Carneiro, Pedro and Rita Ginja, (2014), 'Long Term Impacts of Compensatory Preschool on Health and Behavior: Evidence from Head Start', American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, Vol. 6, November, No. 4, pages 135-173



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