Reducing inequality through dynamic complementarity: Evidence from head start and public school spending

Rucker C. Johnson, C. Kirabo Jackson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations

Abstract

We compare the adult outcomes of cohorts who were differentially exposed to policy-induced changes in Head Start and K-12 spending, depending on place and year of birth. IV and sibling- difference estimates indicate that, for poor children, these policies both increased educational attainment and earnings, and reduced poverty and incarceration. The benefits of Head Start were larger when followed by access to better- funded schools, and increases in K-12 spending were more efficacious when preceded by Head Start exposure. The findings suggest dynamic complementarities, implying that early educational investments that are sustained may break the cycle of poverty. (JEL H52, H75, I21, I26, I28, I32, I38).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)310-349
Number of pages40
JournalAmerican Economic Journal: Economic Policy
Volume11
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 1 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Economics, Econometrics and Finance(all)

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