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The Life-cycle Benefits of an Influential Early Childhood Program

Author

Listed:
  • García, Jorge Luis

    (Clemson University)

  • Heckman, James J.

    (University of Chicago)

  • Leaf, Duncan Ermini

    (University of Southern California)

  • Prados, Maria José

    (University of Southern California)

Abstract

This paper estimates the long-term benefits from an influential early childhood program targeting disadvantaged families. The program was evaluated by random assignment and followed participants through their mid-30s. It has substantial beneficial impacts on health, children's future labor incomes, crime, education, and mothers' labor incomes, with greater monetized benefits for males. Lifetime returns are estimated by pooling multiple data sets using testable economic models. The overall rate of return is 13.7% per annum, and the benefit/cost ratio is 7.3. These estimates are robust to numerous sensitivity analyses.

Suggested Citation

  • García, Jorge Luis & Heckman, James J. & Leaf, Duncan Ermini & Prados, Maria José, 2016. "The Life-cycle Benefits of an Influential Early Childhood Program," IZA Discussion Papers 10456, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp10456
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    childcare; early childhood education; long-term predictions; gender differences in responses to programs; health; quality of life; randomized trials; substitution bias;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
    • I28 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Government Policy
    • C93 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Field Experiments

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