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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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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Blog mentions

    As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. The Life-cycle Benefits of an Influential Early Childhood Program
      by maximorossi in NEP-LTV blog on 2017-02-07 23:36:29
    2. The Life-cycle Benefits of an Influential Early Childhood Program
      by maximorossi in NEP-LTV blog on 2017-03-31 18:11:48

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    Cited by:

    1. Flèche, Sarah & Lekfuangfu, Warn N. & Clark, Andrew E., 2021. "The long-lasting effects of family and childhood on adult wellbeing: Evidence from British cohort data," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 181(C), pages 290-311.
    2. Joseph P. Newhouse, 2020. "An Ounce of Prevention," NBER Working Papers 27553, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Charle Augusto Londoño Henao, 2020. "Cost-Efficiency Index of the Development Plan of Medellín, 2015," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 152(1), pages 335-367, November.
    4. Conti, Gabriella & Mason, Giacomo & Poupakis, Stavros, 2019. "Developmental Origins of Health Inequality," IZA Discussion Papers 12448, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    5. Daniela Del Boca & Chiara Monfardini & Sarah Grace See, 2017. "Government education expenditures, pre-primary education and school performance: A cross-country analysis," CHILD Working Papers Series 61 JEL Classification: J1, Centre for Household, Income, Labour and Demographic Economics (CHILD) - CCA.
    6. Lastra-Anadón, Carlos & Muñiz, Manuel Antonio, 2017. "Technological change, inequality and the collapse of the liberal order," Economics Discussion Papers 2017-43, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW).
    7. Hélène Périvier & Réjane Sénac, 2018. "The new spirit of neoliberalism: equality and economic prosperity," Sciences Po publications info:hdl:2441/14c56gh1hq9, Sciences Po.
    8. Chao Fu & Nicolás Grau & Jorge Rivera, 2020. "Wandering Astray: Teenagers' Choices of Schooling and Crime," NBER Working Papers 26858, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Hélène Périvier & Réjane Sénac, 2018. "The new spirit of neoliberalism: equality and economic prosperity," Post-Print hal-02403971, HAL.
    10. Wisuwat Chujan & Weerachart T. Kilenthong, 2019. "Short-term Impact of an Early Childhood Curriculum Intervention in Rural Thailand," Working Papers 2019-077, Human Capital and Economic Opportunity Working Group.
    11. Jens Dietrichson & Ida Lykke Kristiansen & Bjørn A. Viinholt, 2020. "Universal Preschool Programs And Long‐Term Child Outcomes: A Systematic Review," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 34(5), pages 1007-1043, December.
    12. Emily Moschini, 2019. "Child Care Subsidies with One- and Two-Parent Families," 2019 Meeting Papers 42, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    13. Nores, Milagros & Bernal, Raquel & Barnett, W. Steven, 2019. "Center-based care for infants and toddlers: The aeioTU randomized trial," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 72(C), pages 30-43.
    14. Ramon Flecha, 2020. "Contributions from Social Theory to Sustainability for All," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 12(23), pages 1-11, November.
    15. Wisuwat Chujan & Weerachart T. Kilenthong, 2019. "An Early Evaluation of a HighScope-Based Curriculum Intervention in Rural Thailand," PIER Discussion Papers 103, Puey Ungphakorn Institute for Economic Research, revised Jan 2019.
    16. García, Jorge Luis & Heckman, James J. & Ziff, Anna L., 2018. "Gender differences in the benefits of an influential early childhood program," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 109(C), pages 9-22.
    17. Shelley Clark & Caroline W. Kabiru & Sonia Laszlo & Stella Muthuri, 2019. "The Impact of Childcare on Poor Urban Women’s Economic Empowerment in Africa," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 56(4), pages 1247-1272, August.
    18. Víctor Giménez & Claudio Thieme & Diego Prior & Emili Tortosa-Ausina, 2020. "Evaluation and determinants of pre-school effectiveness in Chile," Working Papers 2020/02, Economics Department, Universitat Jaume I, Castellón (Spain).
    19. Diego Daruich, 2017. "From Childhood to Adult Inequality: Parental Investments and Early Childhood Development," 2017 Meeting Papers 770, Society for Economic Dynamics.

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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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