Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login

Measuring Investment in Human Capital Formation: An Experimental Analysis of Early Life Outcomes

Contents:

Author Info

  • Orla Doyle

    (University College Dublin)

  • Colm Harmon

    (University of Sydney)

  • James J Heckman

    (University of Chicago)

  • Caitriona Logue

    (University College Dublin)

  • Seong Hyeok Moon

    (University of Chicago)

Abstract

The literature on skill formation and human capital development clearly demonstrates that early investment in children is an equitable and efficient policy with large returns in adulthood. Yet little is known about the mechanisms involved in producing these long-term effects. This paper presents early evidence on the nature of skill formation based on an experimentally designed, five-year home visiting program in Ireland targeting disadvantaged families - Preparing for Life (PFL). We examine the impact of investment between utero to 18 months of age on a range of parental and child outcomes. Using the methodology of Heckman et al. (2010a), permutation testing methods and a stepdown procedure are applied to account for the small sample size and the increased likelihood of false discoveries when examining multiple outcomes. The results show that the program impact is concentrated on parental behaviors and the home environment, with little impact on child development at this early stage. This indicates that home visiting programs can be effective at offsetting deficits in parenting skills within a relatively short timeframe, yet continued investment may be required to observe direct effects on child development. While correcting for attrition bias leads to some changes in the precision of estimates, overall the results are quite similar.

Download Info

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
File URL: http://www.ucd.ie/t4cms/WP13_10.pdf
File Function: First version, 2013
Download Restriction: no

Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by School Of Economics, University College Dublin in its series Working Papers with number 201310.

as in new window
Length: 91 pages
Date of creation: 08 Aug 2013
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ucn:wpaper:201310

Contact details of provider:
Postal: UCD, Belfield, Dublin 4
Phone: +353-1-7067777
Fax: +353-1-283 0068
Web page: http://www.ucd.ie/economics
More information through EDIRC

Related research

Keywords: Early childhood intervention; human capital development; randomized control trial; multiple hypotheses; permutation testing;

Other versions of this item:

Find related papers by JEL classification:

References

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
as in new window
  1. James Heckman & Pedro Carneiro & Flavio Cunha, 2004. "The Technology of Skill Formation," 2004 Meeting Papers 681, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  2. Orla Doyle, 2012. "Breaking the Cycle of Deprivation: An Experimental Evaluation of an Early Childhood Intervention," Working Papers 201212, Geary Institute, University College Dublin.
  3. Knudsen, Eric I. & Heckman, James J. & Cameron, Judy L. & Shonkoff, Jack P., 2006. "Economic, Neurobiological and Behavioral Perspectives on Building America's Future Workforce," IZA Discussion Papers 2190, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  4. Sarah Avellar & Diane Paulsell, 2011. "Lessons Learned from the Home Visiting Evidence of Effectiveness Review," Mathematica Policy Research Reports 7046, Mathematica Policy Research.
  5. James J. Heckman & Seong Hyeok Moon & Rodrigo Pinto & Peter A. Savelyev & Adam Yavitz, 2010. "Analyzing Social Experiments as Implemented: A Reexamination of the Evidence From the HighScope Perry Preschool Program," Working Papers 201034, Geary Institute, University College Dublin.
  6. Joseph P. Romano & Michael Wolf, 2005. "Exact and Approximate Stepdown Methods for Multiple Hypothesis Testing," Journal of the American Statistical Association, American Statistical Association, vol. 100, pages 94-108, March.
  7. Doyle, Orla & Harmon, Colm P. & Heckman, James J. & Tremblay, Richard E., 2009. "Investing in early human development: Timing and economic efficiency," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 7(1), pages 1-6, March.
  8. Joseph P. Romano & Azeem M. Shaikh & Michael Wolf, 2010. "Hypothesis Testing in Econometrics," Annual Review of Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 2(1), pages 75-104, 09.
  9. Eric Knudsen & James J. Heckman & Judy Cameron & Jack P. Shonkoff, 2006. "Economic, Neurobiological and Behavioral Perspectives on Building America’s Future Workforce," World Economics, World Economics, Economic & Financial Publishing, 1 Ivory Square, Plantation Wharf, London, United Kingdom, SW11 3UE, vol. 7(3), pages 17-41, July.
  10. LeCroy, Craig Winston & Krysik, Judy, 2011. "Randomized trial of the healthy families Arizona home visiting program," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 33(10), pages 1761-1766, October.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

Citations

Blog mentions

As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
  1. Measuring Investment in Human Capital Formation: An Experimental Analysis of Early Life Outcomes
    by Liam Delaney in Economics, Psychology and Policy on 2013-08-09 15:18:00
  2. Measuring Investment in Human Capital Formation: An Experimental Analysis of Early Life Outcomes
    by maximorossi in NEP-LTV blog on 2013-09-25 12:15:21
Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
as in new window

Cited by:
  1. Arnaud Chevalier & Olivier Marie, 2014. "Economic Uncertainty, Parental Selection, and the Criminal Activity of the 'Children of the Wall'," CEP Discussion Papers dp1256, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  2. Sandner, Malte, 2013. "Effects of Early Childhood Intervention on Child Development and Early Skill Formation. Evidence from a Randomized Controlled Trial," Hannover Economic Papers (HEP) dp-518, Leibniz Universität Hannover, Wirtschaftswissenschaftliche Fakultät.

Lists

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

Statistics

Access and download statistics

Corrections

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ucn:wpaper:201310. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Nicolas Clifton).

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.