Earnings benefits of Tulsa's pre-K program for different income groups
This paper estimates future adult earnings effects associated with a universal pre-K program in Tulsa, Oklahoma. These projections help to compensate for the lack of long-term data on universal pre-K programs, while using metrics that relate test scores to social benefits. Combining test-score data from the fall of 2006 and recent findings by Chetty et al. (2011) on the relationship between kindergarten test scores and adult earnings, we generate projections of adult earnings effects and a partial cost–benefit analysis of the Tulsa pre-K program. For both half-day and full-day programs, benefits are similar across program participants of different income, with benefit-to-cost ratios of 3- or 4-to-1. Because we only consider adult earnings benefits, actual benefit–cost ratios are likely higher, especially for disadvantaged children.
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