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Combining behavioral economics and field experiments to reimagine early childhood education

Author

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  • LIST, JOHN A.
  • SAMEK, ANYA
  • SUSKIND, DANA L.

Abstract

Behavioral economics and field experiments within the social sciences have advanced well beyond academic curiosum. Governments around the globe as well as the most powerful firms in modern economies employ staffs of behavioralists and experimentalists to advance and test best practices. In this study, we combine behavioral economics with field experiments to reimagine a new model of early childhood education. Our approach has three distinct features. First, by focusing public policy dollars on prevention rather than remediation, we call for much earlier educational programs than currently conceived. Second, our approach has parents at the center of the education production function rather than at its periphery. Third, we advocate attacking the macro education problem using a public health methodology, rather than focusing on piecemeal advances.

Suggested Citation

  • List, John A. & Samek, Anya & Suskind, Dana L., 2018. "Combining behavioral economics and field experiments to reimagine early childhood education," Behavioural Public Policy, Cambridge University Press, vol. 2(1), pages 1-21, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:cup:bpubpo:v:2:y:2018:i:01:p:1-21_00
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. James Heckman, 2011. "Policies to foster human capital," Educational Studies, Higher School of Economics, issue 3, pages 73-137.
    2. Steven D. Levitt & John A. List & Susanne Neckermann & Sally Sadoff, 2016. "The Behavioralist Goes to School: Leveraging Behavioral Economics to Improve Educational Performance," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 8(4), pages 183-219, November.
    3. Susan E. Mayer & Ariel Kalil & Philip Oreopoulos & Sebastian Gallegos, 2015. "Using Behavioral Insights to Increase Parental Engagement: The Parents and Children Together (PACT) Intervention," NBER Working Papers 21602, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Uri Gneezy & John A. List & Jeffrey A. Livingston & Xiangdong Qin & Sally Sadoff & Yang Xu, 2019. "Measuring Success in Education: The Role of Effort on the Test Itself," American Economic Review: Insights, American Economic Association, vol. 1(3), pages 291-308, December.
    5. Shane Frederick & George Loewenstein & Ted O'Donoghue, 2002. "Time Discounting and Time Preference: A Critical Review," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 40(2), pages 351-401, June.
    6. Jonathan Guryan & Erik Hurst & Melissa Kearney, 2008. "Parental Education and Parental Time with Children," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 22(3), pages 23-46, Summer.
    7. Lisa A. Gennetian & Eldar Shafir, 2015. "The Persistence Of Poverty In The Context Of Financial Instability: A Behavioral Perspective," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 34(4), pages 904-936, September.
    8. repec:mpr:mprres:5983 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. List, John A. & Samek, Anya Savikhin, 2015. "The behavioralist as nutritionist: Leveraging behavioral economics to improve child food choice and consumption," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(C), pages 135-146.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Andreoni, James & Kuhn, Michael A. & List, John A. & Samek, Anya & Sokal, Kevin & Sprenger, Charles, 2019. "Toward an understanding of the development of time preferences: Evidence from field experiments," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 177(C), pages 1-1.
    2. Falk, Armin & Kosse, Fabian & Pinger, Pia, 2020. "Mentoring and Schooling Decisions: Causal Evidence," IZA Discussion Papers 13387, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    3. Damgaard, Mette Trier & Nielsen, Helena Skyt, 2018. "Nudging in education," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 64(C), pages 313-342.

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