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Faculty of Economics

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Chan, M., Dalla-Zuanna, A., Liu, K.

Understanding Program Complementarities: Estimating the Dynamic Effects of Head Start with Multiple Alternatives


Abstract: We use experimental data from the Head Start Impact Study to examine the effect of sequential participation in childcare programs on cognitive outcomes. Using a sequential threshold model, which accounts for selection beyond initial randomization, we estimate causal returns to program sequences, including joint and cross returns across skill investment programs. We then estimate a dynamic structural model as a juxtaposition and evaluate a counterfactual policy reform which limits individuals to one year of Head Start. Our results support Head Start implementation earlier in life, and support engaging low-ability children with center-based care and high-ability children with some home care.

Keywords: Head Start, program evaluation, treatment effects, complementarity, child care

Author links: Kai Liu  


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