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Preschool and Parental Response in a Second Best World: Evidence from a School Construction Experiment

Author

Listed:
  • Adrien Bouguen

    (PSE - Paris-Jourdan Sciences Economiques - ENS Paris - École normale supérieure - Paris - INRA - Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - ENPC - École des Ponts ParisTech - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, PSE - Paris School of Economics)

  • Deon Filmer

    (Banque Mondiale - Centre de recherche de la Banque Mondiale - Banque Mondiale)

  • Karen Macours

    (PSE - Paris-Jourdan Sciences Economiques - ENS Paris - École normale supérieure - Paris - INRA - Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - ENPC - École des Ponts ParisTech - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, PSE - Paris School of Economics)

  • Sophie Naudeau

    (Banque Mondiale - Centre de recherche de la Banque Mondiale - Banque Mondiale)

Abstract

Interventions targeting early childhood development hold promise for increasing human capital and reducing the intergenerational transmission of poverty. This paper presents results from a randomized evaluation of a preschool construction program in Cambodia, and suggests caution. The overall impact of the program on early childhood outcomes was small and statistically insignificant. For the cohort with highest program exposure, the impact on cognitive indicators was negative; with the largest negative effects among children of poorer and less educated parents. The results are consistent with frequent underage enrollment in primary school in the absence of preschools, stricter enforcement of the minimum age for primary school entry after the intervention, substitution between primary and preschool following intervention, and difference in demand responses to the new preschools between more and less educated parents. The results show that contextual and program specifics, and behavioral responses, can potentially lead to perverse effects of programs.

Suggested Citation

  • Adrien Bouguen & Deon Filmer & Karen Macours & Sophie Naudeau, 2014. "Preschool and Parental Response in a Second Best World: Evidence from a School Construction Experiment," Working Papers hal-01090361, HAL.
  • Handle: RePEc:hal:wpaper:hal-01090361
    Note: View the original document on HAL open archive server: https://hal-pjse.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-01090361v2
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Janet Currie, 2001. "Early Childhood Education Programs," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 15(2), pages 213-238, Spring.
    2. Karen Macours & Norbert Schady & Renos Vakis, 2012. "Cash Transfers, Behavioral Changes, and Cognitive Development in Early Childhood: Evidence from a Randomized Experiment," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 4(2), pages 247-273, April.
    3. Jere R. Behrman & Yingmei Cheng & Petra E. Todd, 2004. "Evaluating Preschool Programs When Length of Exposure to the Program Varies: A Nonparametric Approach," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 86(1), pages 108-132, February.
    4. Elizabeth M. King & Jere R. Behrman, 2009. "Timing and Duration of Exposure in Evaluations of Social Programs," World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, vol. 24(1), pages 55-82, February.
    5. repec:idb:brikps:publication-detail,7101.html?id=32886 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Karen Macours & Norbert Schady & Renos Vakis, 2012. "Cash Transfers, Behavioral Changes, and Cognitive Development in Early Childhood: Evidence from a Randomized Experiment," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 4(2), pages 247-273, April.
    7. Raj Chetty & John N. Friedman & Nathaniel Hilger & Emmanuel Saez & Diane Whitmore Schanzenbach & Danny Yagan, 2011. "How Does Your Kindergarten Classroom Affect Your Earnings? Evidence from Project Star," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 126(4), pages 1593-1660.
    8. Berlinski, Samuel & Galiani, Sebastian & Manacorda, Marco, 2008. "Giving children a better start: Preschool attendance and school-age profiles," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(5-6), pages 1416-1440, June.
    9. Tessa Bold & Mwangi Kimenyi & Germano Mwabu & Alice Ng'ang'a & Justin Sandefur, 2013. "Scaling-up What Works: Experimental Evidence on External Validity in Kenyan Education," CSAE Working Paper Series 2013-04, Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford.
    10. Havnes, Tarjei & Mogstad, Magne, 2009. "No Child Left Behind: Universal Child Care and Children's Long-Run Outcomes," Memorandum 23/2009, Oslo University, Department of Economics.
    11. Tania Barham & Karen Macours & John A. Maluccio, 2013. "Boys' Cognitive Skill Formation and Physical Growth: Long-Term Experimental Evidence on Critical Ages for Early Childhood Interventions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 103(3), pages 467-471, May.
    12. Norbert Schady & Jere Behrman & Maria Caridad Araujo & Rodrigo Azuero & Raquel Bernal & David Bravo & Florencia Lopez-Boo & Karen Macours & Daniela Marshall & Christina Paxson & Renos Vakis, 2015. "Wealth Gradients in Early Childhood Cognitive Development in Five Latin American Countries," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 50(2), pages 446-463.
    13. James J. Heckman & Jora Stixrud & Sergio Urzua, 2006. "The Effects of Cognitive and Noncognitive Abilities on Labor Market Outcomes and Social Behavior," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 24(3), pages 411-482, July.
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    15. Bouguen, Adrien & Filmer, Deon & Macours, Karen & Naudeau, Sophie, 2013. "Impact evaluation of three types of early childhood development interventions in Cambodia," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6540, The World Bank.
    16. Paul Gertler, 2004. "Do Conditional Cash Transfers Improve Child Health? Evidence from PROGRESA's Control Randomized Experiment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(2), pages 336-341, May.
    17. Berlinski, Samuel & Galiani, Sebastian & Gertler, Paul, 2009. "The effect of pre-primary education on primary school performance," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(1-2), pages 219-234, February.
    18. Tania Barham & Karen Macours & John A. Maluccio, 2013. "Boys' Cognitive Skill Formation and Physical Growth: Long-Term Experimental Evidence on Critical Ages for Early Childhood Interventions," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 103(3), pages 467-471, May.
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    Keywords

    Poverty and inequality; Parental involvement; Preschool and kindergarten; cognitive development;

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