Early Childhood Education by Television: Lessons from Sesame Street
Kearney, Melissa S. and Philip Levine ,
( 11 )
American Economic Journal: Applied Economics

We investigate whether preschool-age children exposed to Sesame Street when it aired in 1969 experienced improved educational and labor market outcomes. We exploit geographic variation in broadcast reception derived from technological factors, namely UHF versus VHF transmission. This variation is then related to census data on grade-for-age status, educational attainment, and labor market outcomes. The results indicate that Sesame Street improved school performance, particularly for boys. The point estimates for long-term educational and labor market outcomes are generally imprecise.

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