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Understanding the Mechanisms through Which an Influential Early Childhood Program Boosted Adult Outcomes

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Author Info

  • James J. Heckman

    ()
    (University of Chicago)

  • Rodrigo Pinto

    ()
    (University of Chicago)

  • Peter A. Savelyev

    ()
    (Vanderbilt University)

Abstract

A growing literature establishes that high quality early childhood interventions targeted toward disadvantaged children have substantial impacts on later life outcomes. Little is known about the mechanisms producing these impacts. This paper uses longitudinal data on cognitive and personality traits from an experimental evaluation of the influential Perry Preschool program to analyze the channels through which the program boosted both male and female participant outcomes. Experimentally induced changes in personality traits explain a sizable portion of adult treatment effects.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Vanderbilt University Department of Economics in its series Vanderbilt University Department of Economics Working Papers with number 12-00011.

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Date of creation: 12 Aug 2012
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Handle: RePEc:van:wpaper:vuecon-12-00011

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Web page: http://www.vanderbilt.edu/econ/wparchive/index.html

Related research

Keywords: cognitive traits; personality traits; externalizing behavior; academic motivation; factor analysis; human capital; human development; early childhood interventions; social experiments; Perry Preschool program; experimentally estimated production functions;

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References

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  1. Joseph P. Romano & Michael Wolf, 2005. "Exact and Approximate Stepdown Methods for Multiple Hypothesis Testing," Journal of the American Statistical Association, American Statistical Association, American Statistical Association, vol. 100, pages 94-108, March.
  2. Flavio Cunha & James Heckman & Susanne Schennach, 2010. "Estimating the Technology of Cognitive and Noncognitive Skill Formation," NBER Working Papers 15664, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. John Carroll, 1953. "An analytical solution for approximating simple structure in factor analysis," Psychometrika, Springer, Springer, vol. 18(1), pages 23-38, March.
  4. Almlund, Mathilde & Duckworth, Angela Lee & Heckman, James J. & Kautz, Tim, 2011. "Personality Psychology and Economics," IZA Discussion Papers 5500, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  5. James J. Heckman, 2000. "Policies to Foster Human Capital," JCPR Working Papers 154, Northwestern University/University of Chicago Joint Center for Poverty Research.
  6. Louis Guttman, 1954. "Some necessary conditions for common-factor analysis," Psychometrika, Springer, Springer, vol. 19(2), pages 149-161, June.
  7. James J. Heckman & Seong Hyeok Moon & Rodrigo Pinto & Peter A. Savelyev & Adam Yavitz, 2009. "The Rate of Return to the High/Scope Perry Preschool Program," Working Papers, Geary Institute, University College Dublin 200936, Geary Institute, University College Dublin.
  8. 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).
  9. Borghans, Lex & Golsteyn, Bart H.H. & Heckman, James J. & Humphries, John Eric, 2011. "Identification Problems in Personality Psychology," IZA Discussion Papers 5605, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  10. James Heckman & Seong Hyeok Moon & Rodrigo Pinto & Peter Savelyev & Adam Yavitz, 2010. "Analyzing social experiments as implemented: A reexamination of the evidence from the HighScope Perry Preschool Program," Quantitative Economics, Econometric Society, Econometric Society, vol. 1(1), pages 1-46, 07.
  11. Robert Jennrich, 2006. "Rotation to Simple Loadings Using Component Loss Functions: The Oblique Case," Psychometrika, Springer, Springer, vol. 71(1), pages 173-191, March.
  12. Heckman, James J. & Kautz, Tim, 2012. "Hard Evidence on Soft Skills," IZA Discussion Papers 6580, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  13. Charles Crawford & George Ferguson, 1970. "A general rotation criterion and its use in orthogonal rotation," Psychometrika, Springer, Springer, vol. 35(3), pages 321-332, September.
  14. R. Jennrich & P. Sampson, 1966. "Rotation for simple loadings," Psychometrika, Springer, Springer, vol. 31(3), pages 313-323, September.
  15. John Horn, 1965. "A rationale and test for the number of factors in factor analysis," Psychometrika, Springer, Springer, vol. 30(2), pages 179-185, June.
  16. 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, American Statistical Association, vol. 103(484), pages 1481-1495.
  17. Flavio Cunha & James J. Heckman, 2008. "Formulating, Identifying and Estimating the Technology of Cognitive and Noncognitive Skill Formation," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 43(4).
  18. Alexei Onatski, 2009. "Testing Hypotheses About the Number of Factors in Large Factor Models," Econometrica, Econometric Society, Econometric Society, vol. 77(5), pages 1447-1479, 09.
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