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Gender-specific effects of early childhood intervention: Evidence from a randomized controlled trial

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  • Sandner, Malte
  • Jungmann, Tanja

Abstract

This paper investigates the effects of an early childhood intervention in Germany that begins prenatally and continues until the child's second birthday. The intervention consists of home visits and targets socially disadvantaged first-time mothers to improve child development. The effects on child development were assessed via developmental tests in a randomized controlled trial. Home visits significantly improved girls' cognitive development during the first 24 months after birth. In contrast, the intervention had no effect on boys. These gender-specific outcomes can be explained by greater increases in parental investment (e.g. reading to the child) for girls than for boys. Our results demonstrate that early childhood interventions have an effect on early cognitive child development, although concentrated on girls, in a country where a wide range of additional support services are available for disadvantaged mothers with young children.

Suggested Citation

  • Sandner, Malte & Jungmann, Tanja, 2017. "Gender-specific effects of early childhood intervention: Evidence from a randomized controlled trial," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 45(C), pages 59-78.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:labeco:v:45:y:2017:i:c:p:59-78
    DOI: 10.1016/j.labeco.2016.11.006
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Sandner, Malte & Cornelissen, Thomas & Jungmann, Tanja & Herrmann, Peggy, 2018. "Evaluating the effects of a targeted home visiting program on maternal and child health outcomes," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 58(C), pages 269-283.
    2. Orla Doyle, 2017. "The First 2,000 Days and Child Skills: Evidence from a Randomized Experiment of Home Visiting," Working Papers 201715, School of Economics, University College Dublin.
    3. Sandner, Malte, 2019. "Effects of early childhood intervention on fertility and maternal employment: Evidence from a randomized controlled trial," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 63(C), pages 159-181.
    4. Jose Cuesta & Mario Negre & Ana Revenga & Maika Schmidt, 2018. "Tackling Income Inequality: What Works and Why?," Journal of Income Distribution, Ad libros publications inc., vol. 26(1), pages 1-48, March.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Early childhood intervention; Randomized experiment;

    JEL classification:

    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
    • J12 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Marriage; Marital Dissolution; Family Structure
    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education
    • H52 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Government Expenditures and Education

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