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The Life-cycle Benefits of an Influential Early Childhood Program

Listed author(s):
  • García, Jorge Luis

    ()

    (University of Chicago)

  • Heckman, James J.

    ()

    (University of Chicago)

  • Leaf, Duncan Ermini

    ()

    (University of Southern California)

  • Prados, Maria José

    ()

    (University of Southern California)

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.

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File URL: http://ftp.iza.org/dp10456.pdf
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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 10456.

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Length: 75 pages
Date of creation: Dec 2016
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp10456
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  1. Janet Currie, 2011. "Inequality at Birth: Some Causes and Consequences," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(3), pages 1-22, May.
  2. Jacob A. Mincer, 1974. "Introduction to "Schooling, Experience, and Earnings"," NBER Chapters,in: Schooling, Experience, and Earnings, pages 1-4 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Patrick Kline & Christopher R. Walters, 2016. "Evaluating Public Programs with Close Substitutes: The Case of HeadStart," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 131(4), pages 1795-1848.
  4. Blundell, Richard & Graber, Michael & Mogstad, Magne, 2015. "Labor income dynamics and the insurance from taxes, transfers, and the family," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 127(C), pages 58-73.
  5. Heckman, James & Pinto, Rodrigo, 2015. "Causal Analysis After Haavelmo," Econometric Theory, Cambridge University Press, vol. 31(01), pages 115-151, February.
  6. James Heckman & Neil Hohmann & Jeffrey Smith & Michael Khoo, 2000. "Substitution and Dropout Bias in Social Experiments: A Study of an Influential Social Experiment," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 115(2), pages 651-694.
  7. Carl Sanders & Christopher Taber, 2012. "Life-Cycle Wage Growth and Heterogeneous Human Capital," Annual Review of Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 4(1), pages 399-425, July.
  8. Jacob A. Mincer, 1974. "Schooling, Experience, and Earnings," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number minc74-1.
  9. 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.
  10. James Heckman & Salvador Navarro-Lozano, 2004. "Using Matching, Instrumental Variables, and Control Functions to Estimate Economic Choice Models," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 86(1), pages 30-57, February.
  11. Martin Feldstein, 1999. "Tax Avoidance And The Deadweight Loss Of The Income Tax," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 81(4), pages 674-680, November.
  12. David H. Autor & David N. Figlio & Krzysztof Karbownik & Jeffrey Roth & Melanie Wasserman, 2016. "Family Disadvantage and the Gender Gap in Behavioral and Educational Outcomes," CESifo Working Paper Series 5925, CESifo Group Munich.
  13. Romano, Joseph P. & Wolf, Michael, 2016. "Efficient computation of adjusted p-values for resampling-based stepdown multiple testing," Statistics & Probability Letters, Elsevier, vol. 113(C), pages 38-40.
  14. James Heckman & Hidehiko Ichimura & Jeffrey Smith & Petra Todd, 1998. "Characterizing Selection Bias Using Experimental Data," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 66(5), pages 1017-1098, September.
  15. Clive R Belfield & Milagros Nores & Steve Barnett & Lawrence Schweinhart, 2006. "The High/Scope Perry Preschool Program: Cost–Benefit Analysis Using Data from the Age-40 Followup," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 41(1).
  16. Greg J. Duncan & Aaron J. Sojourner, 2013. "Can Intensive Early Childhood Intervention Programs Eliminate Income-Based Cognitive and Achievement Gaps?," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 48(4), pages 945-968.
  17. 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.
  18. Michael Baker & Jonathan Gruber & Kevin Milligan, 2015. "Non-Cognitive Deficits and Young Adult Outcomes: The Long-Run Impacts of a Universal Child Care Program," NBER Working Papers 21571, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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