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The Effects of Two Influential Early Childhood Interventions on Health and Healthy Behaviors

Author

Listed:
  • Gabriella Conti

    (University College London)

  • James J. Heckman

    () (The University of Chicago)

  • Rodrigo Pinto

    () (University of California, Los Angeles)

Abstract

This paper examines the long-term impacts on health and healthy behaviors of two of the oldest and most widely cited U.S. early childhood interventions evaluated by the method of randomization with long-term follow-up: the Perry Preschool Project (PPP) and the Carolina Abecedarian Project (ABC). There are pronounced gender effects strongly favoring boys, although there are also effects for girls. Dynamic mediation analyses show a significant role played by improved childhood traits, above and beyond the effects of experimentally enhanced adult socioeconomic status. These results show the potential of early life interventions for promoting health.

Suggested Citation

  • Gabriella Conti & James J. Heckman & Rodrigo Pinto, 2015. "The Effects of Two Influential Early Childhood Interventions on Health and Healthy Behaviors," Working Papers 2015-011, Becker Friedman Institute for Research In Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:bfi:wpaper:2015-011
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    File URL: https://econresearch.uchicago.edu/sites/econresearch.uchicago.edu/files/Conti_etal_2015_health-effects.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. 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, vol. 1(1), pages 1-46, July.
    2. James Heckman & Rodrigo Pinto & Peter Savelyev, 2013. "Understanding the Mechanisms through Which an Influential Early Childhood Program Boosted Adult Outcomes," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 103(6), pages 2052-2086, October.
    3. Conti, Gabriella & Hansman, Chris, 2012. "Personality and the education-health gradient," ISER Working Paper Series 2012-20, Institute for Social and Economic Research.
    4. Conti, Gabriella & Hansman, Christopher, 2013. "Personality and the education–health gradient: A note on “Understanding differences in health behaviors by education”," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(2), pages 480-485.
    5. Cobb-Clark, Deborah A. & Kassenboehmer, Sonja C. & Schurer, Stefanie, 2014. "Healthy habits: The connection between diet, exercise, and locus of control," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 98(C), pages 1-28.
    6. Millimet, Daniel L. & Tchernis, Rusty, 2013. "The Origins of Early Childhood Anthropometric Persistence," IZA Discussion Papers 7657, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    7. Dickson, Matt & Gregg, Paul & Robinson, Harriet, 2013. "Early, Late or Never? When Does Parental Education Impact Child Outcomes?," IZA Discussion Papers 7123, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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    10. James J. Heckman & Jeffrey Smith & Nancy Clements, 1997. "Making The Most Out Of Programme Evaluations and Social Experiments: Accounting For Heterogeneity in Programme Impacts," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 64(4), pages 487-535.
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    12. Barnett, W.S. & Masse, Leonard N., 2007. "Comparative benefit-cost analysis of the Abecedarian program and its policy implications," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 26(1), pages 113-125, February.
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    14. James P. Smith, 1999. "Healthy Bodies and Thick Wallets: The Dual Relation between Health and Economic Status," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 13(2), pages 145-166, Spring.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Johan Fourie, 2016. "The long walk to economic freedom after apartheid, and the road ahead," Working Papers 11/2016, Stellenbosch University, Department of Economics.
    2. Daniela Del Boca & Enrica Maria Martino & Daniela Piazzalunga, 2017. "Investments in Early Education and Child Outcomes: The Short and the Long Run," ifo DICE Report, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 15(1), pages 43-48, 04.
    3. David Autor & David Figlio & Krzysztof Karbownik & Jeffrey Roth & Melanie Wasserman, 2016. "School Quality and the Gender Gap in Educational Achievement," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 106(5), pages 289-295, May.
    4. Chris Ryan & Anna Zhu, 2015. "Sibling Health, Schooling and Longer-Term Developmental Outcomes," Melbourne Institute Working Paper Series wp2015n21, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, The University of Melbourne.
    5. Timothy J. Bartik & Nathan Sotherland, 2015. "Migration and Housing Price Effects of Place-Based College Scholarships," Upjohn Working Papers and Journal Articles 15-245, W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research.
    6. repec:eee:labeco:v:45:y:2017:i:c:p:59-78 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Del Bono, Emilia & Francesconi, Marco & Kelly, Yvonne & Sacker, Amanda, 2014. "Early Maternal Time Investment and Early Child Outcomes," IZA Discussion Papers 8608, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    8. repec:eee:labeco:v:45:y:2017:i:c:p:40-58 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Douglas Almond & Janet Currie & Valentina Duque, 2017. "Childhood Circumstances and Adult Outcomes: Act II," Working Papers 2017-082, Human Capital and Economic Opportunity Working Group.
    10. Michael J. Kottelenberg & Steven F. Lehrer, 2017. "Does Quebec's Subsidized Child Care Policy Give Boys and Girls an Equal Start?," NBER Working Papers 23259, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    11. Boudreaux, Michel H. & Golberstein, Ezra & McAlpine, Donna D., 2016. "The long-term impacts of Medicaid exposure in early childhood: Evidence from the program's origin," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 45(C), pages 161-175.
    12. Ryan, Chris & Zhu, Anna, 2016. "Sibling Health, Schooling and Longer-Term Developmental Outcomes," IZA Discussion Papers 10253, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    13. repec:cje:issued:v:51:y:2018:i:2:p:627-659 is not listed on IDEAS
    14. repec:ces:ifodic:v:15:y:2017:i:1:p:19307500 is not listed on IDEAS
    15. Billings, Stephen B. & Schnepel, Kevin T., 2017. "Life After Lead: Effects of Early Interventions for Children Exposed to Lead," IZA Discussion Papers 10872, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    16. Hernaes, Øystein & Markussen, Simen & Røed, Knut, 2016. "Television, Cognitive Ability, and High School Completion," IZA Discussion Papers 9645, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Health; early childhood intervention; social experiments; randomized trial; Abecedarian Project; Perry Preschool Project;

    JEL classification:

    • C12 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General - - - Hypothesis Testing: General
    • C93 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Field Experiments
    • I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Behavior
    • I13 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Insurance, Public and Private
    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity

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