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The Rate of Return to the High/Scope Perry Preschool Program

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Author Info

  • Heckman, James J.

    ()
    (University of Chicago)

  • Moon, Seong Hyeok

    ()
    (University of Chicago)

  • Pinto, Rodrigo

    ()
    (University of Chicago)

  • Savelyev, Peter

    ()
    (Vanderbilt University)

  • Yavitz, Adam

    ()
    (University of Chicago)

Abstract

This paper estimates the rate of return to the High/Scope Perry Preschool Program, an early intervention program targeted toward disadvantaged African-American youth. Estimates of the rate of return to the Perry program are widely cited to support the claim of substantial economic benefits from preschool education programs. Previous studies of the rate of return to this program ignore the compromises that occurred in the randomization protocol. They do not report standard errors. The rates of return estimated in this paper account for these factors. We conduct an extensive analysis of sensitivity to alternative plausible assumptions. Estimated social rates of return generally fall between 7-10 percent, with most estimates substantially lower than those previously reported in the literature. However, returns are generally statistically significantly different from zero for both males and females and are above the historical return on equity. Estimated benefit-to-cost ratios support this conclusion.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 4533.

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Length: 63 pages
Date of creation: Oct 2009
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: Journal of Public Economics, 2010, 94 (1-2), 114-128
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp4533

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Related research

Keywords: deadweight costs; cost-benefit analysis; standard errors; Perry Preschool Program; compromised randomization; rate of return; early childhood intervention programs;

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References

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  1. Marianne Bertrand & Erzo F.P. Luttmer & Sendhil Mullainathan, 1998. "Network Effects and Welfare Cultures," NBER Working Papers 6832, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Anderson, Michael L., 2008. "Multiple Inference and Gender Differences in the Effects of Early Intervention: A Reevaluation of the Abecedarian, Perry Preschool, and Early Training Projects," Journal of the American Statistical Association, American Statistical Association, vol. 103(484), pages 1481-1495.
  3. W. Kip Viscusi & Joseph E. Aldy, 2003. "The Value of a Statistical Life: A Critical Review of Market Estimates throughout the World," NBER Working Papers 9487, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. MaCurdy, Thomas, 2007. "A Practitioner's Approach to Estimating Intertemporal Relationships Using Longitudinal Data: Lessons from Applications in Wage Dynamics," Handbook of Econometrics, in: J.J. Heckman & E.E. Leamer (ed.), Handbook of Econometrics, edition 1, volume 6, chapter 62 Elsevier.
  5. Robert A. Moffitt, 2003. "The Negative Income Tax and the Evolution of U.S. Welfare Policy," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 17(3), pages 119-140, Summer.
  6. Anderson, David A, 1999. "The Aggregate Burden of Crime," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 42(2), pages 611-42, October.
  7. Barnett, W.S. & Masse, Leonard N., 2007. "Comparative benefit-cost analysis of the Abecedarian program and its policy implications," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 26(1), pages 113-125, February.
  8. Garces, E. & Thomas, D. & Currie, J., 2000. "Longer Term Effects of Head Start," Papers 00-20, RAND - Labor and Population Program.
  9. Clive R Belfield & Milagros Nores & Steve Barnett & Lawrence Schweinhart, 2006. "The High/Scope Perry Preschool Program: Cost–Benefit Analysis Using Data from the Age-40 Followup," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 41(1).
  10. Heckman, James J. & Lalonde, Robert J. & Smith, Jeffrey A., 1999. "The economics and econometrics of active labor market programs," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 31, pages 1865-2097 Elsevier.
  11. Martin Feldstein, 1999. "Tax Avoidance And The Deadweight Loss Of The Income Tax," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 81(4), pages 674-680, November.
  12. Anderson, Patricia M. & Meyer, Bruce D., 2000. "The effects of the unemployment insurance payroll tax on wages, employment, claims and denials," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 78(1-2), pages 81-106, October.
  13. J. Bradford DeLong & Konstantin Magin, 2009. "The U.S. Equity Return Premium: Past, Present, and Future," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 23(1), pages 193-208, Winter.
  14. James J. Heckman & Jeffrey A. Smith, 1998. "Evaluating the Welfare State," NBER Working Papers 6542, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Browning, Edgar K, 1987. "On the Marginal Welfare Cost of Taxation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(1), pages 11-23, March.
  16. James Heckman & Pedro Carneiro, 2003. "Human Capital Policy," NBER Working Papers 9495, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  17. Hause, John C, 1980. "The Fine Structure of Earnings and the On-the-Job Training Hypothesis," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 48(4), pages 1013-29, May.
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  1. "A Post-Racial Strategy for Improving Skills to Promote Equality"
    by Mark Thoma in Economist's View on 2011-03-20 02:38:00
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