A recent study in the Journal of Labor Economics evaluated the long-term impacts of Head Start on participants’ education and income in adulthood. The researchers used data from the National Longitudinal Study of Youth 1979, a random sample of individuals aged 14-22 in 1979, until they were in their early 30s in 1994. About one-quarter of the sample participated in Head Start. The most conservative estimates find that participating in Head Start increased the probability of high school graduation by at least 4 percentage points and the probability of earning an income higher than the poverty threshold by 6 percentage points. The effects of the program were found to be strongest for female, Black, and Hispanic/Latinx participants. This study is novel in the Head Start evaluation space for examining outcomes at an age when participants are old enough to have completed education and settled into a career, rather than when participants were in their childhood or early 20s. #education #racialequity
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