Seeing and Hearing: The Impacts of New York City’s Universal Pre-Kindergarten Program on the Health of Low-Income Children

from Journal of Health Economics at on February 11, 2019 at 11:04PM

Publication date: Available online 10 February 2019

Source: Journal of Health Economics

Author(s): Kai Hong, Kacie Dragan, Sherry Glied


We examine the effect of New York City’s universal pre-kindergarten program (UPK) on the health and utilization of children enrolled in Medicaid using a difference-in-regression-discontinuities design. We find that UPK increases the probability that a child is diagnosed with asthma or with vision problems, receives treatment for hearing or vision problems, or receives an immunization or screening during the pre-kindergarten year. These effects are not offset by lower rates in the kindergarten year, suggesting that UPK accelerates the rate at which children are identified with and treated for conditions that could potentially delay learning and cause behavioral problems.