Head Start and the distribution of long term education and labor market outcomes

Monique De Haan and Edwin Leuven

This paper investigates the effect of Head Start on long term education and labor market outcomes using data from the NLSY79. It contributes to the existing literature by (1) examining distributional effects, (2) performing a nonparametric bounds analysis that relies on weak stochastic dominance assumptions, and (3) considering outcomes when individuals are in their early 30s. The results show that Head Start has a statistically significant positive effect on years of education, in particular for women, blacks and Hispanics. For wage income we find positive effects that are concentrated at the lower end of the distribution.

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