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Benefits of early childhood interventions across the world: (Under) Investing in the very young

  • Nores, Milagros
  • Barnett, W. Steven

This paper reviews the international (non-U.S.) evidence on the benefits of early childhood interventions. A total of 38 contrasts of 30 interventions in 23 countries were analyzed. It focuses on studies applying a quasi-experimental or random assignment. Studies were coded according to: the type of intervention (cash transfer, nutritional, educational or mixed); sample size; study design and duration; country; target group (infants, prekindergarten); subpopulations of interventions; and dosage of intervention. Cohen's D effect sizes were calculated for four outcomes: cognitive gains; behavioral change; health gains; and amount of schooling. We find children from different context and countries receive substantial cognitive, behavioral, health and schooling benefits from early childhood interventions. The benefits are sustained over time. Interventions that have an educational or stimulation component evidenced the largest cognitive effects.

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File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/B6VB9-4X7R850-1/2/5ba4e8a7bd12076fdc5cd48b0d535daa
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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Economics of Education Review.

Volume (Year): 29 (2010)
Issue (Month): 2 (April)
Pages: 271-282

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Handle: RePEc:eee:ecoedu:v:29:y:2010:i:2:p:271-282
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/econedurev

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  1. Temple, Judy A. & Reynolds, Arthur J., 2007. "Benefits and costs of investments in preschool education: Evidence from the Child-Parent Centers and related programs," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 26(1), pages 126-144, February.
  2. Jorge M. Agüero & Michael R. Carter & Ingrid Woolard, 2007. "The Impact of Unconditional Cash Transfers on Nutrition: The South African Child Support Grant," Working Papers 39, International Policy Centre for Inclusive Growth.
  3. Cunha, Flavio & Heckman, James J. & Lochner, Lance John & Masterov, Dimitriy V., 2005. "Interpreting the Evidence on Life Cycle Skill Formation," IZA Discussion Papers 1675, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  4. W. Steven Barnett, 2005. "Maximizing returns from prekindergarten education," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, pages 5-18.
  5. James J. Heckman & Dimitriy V. Masterov, 2007. "The Productivity Argument for Investing in Young Children," NBER Working Papers 13016, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Barnett, W. Steven & Belfield, Clive R., 2006. "Early childhood development and social mobility," MPRA Paper 858, University Library of Munich, Germany.
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