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The physical and mental health returns of Head Start 25 years after participation: Evidence from income eligibility cutoffs


Most studies that look at long‐term effects of Head Start, the largest early childhood intervention in the US, exploit its rollout in the 1960s, missing the effects of many changes to the program in the 1980s and 1990s. I study the effects of Head Start on long‐term physical and mental health for children who attend Head Start in the 1980s–1990s and are new labor market entrants. I find large improvements in health, resulting in a 0.15 standard deviation decrease in the incidence of poor health. Ultimately, Head Start improves health outcomes up to 25 years after participation in the program. (author abstract)

Resource Type:
Reports & Papers
United States

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