The next Workshop on Quantitative Methods in Education, Health and the Social Sciences (QMeHSS) will be on Friday October 31st from 11:00-12:30pm and will be led by Avi Feller. As with previous workshops, the seminar will be held in the NORC conference room 344. NORC is located at 1155 E. 60th Street. We look forward to seeing you there.
Compared to What? Variation in the Impacts of Early Childhood Education by Alternative Care-Type Settings
Avi Feller, Harvard University
Early childhood education research often compares a group of children who receive the intervention of interest to a group of children who receive care in a range of different care settings, from home-based care with a parent or relative to formal, center-based care. In this paper, we estimate differential impacts of an early childhood intervention by alternative care setting, using data from the Head Start Impact Study, a large-scale randomized evaluation. To do so, we utilize the principal stratification framework, which is a generalization of the instrumental variables approach, allowing us to estimate separate impacts for two types of Compliers: children who would otherwise be in other center-based care when assigned to control and those who would otherwise be in home-based care. We find strong, positive short-term effects on language comprehension of Head Start for those Compliers who would otherwise be in home-based care. By contrast, we find no meaningful impact of Head Start on language comprehension for those Compliers who would be in other center-based care under control. Taken together, our findings suggest that alternative care type is a potentially important source of variation in early childhood interventions and that this analytic framework is relevant for ongoing policy debates.