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A Cost-Benefit Analysis of Early Childhood Intervention: Evidence from a Randomised Evaluation of a Parenting Programme

  • O'Neill, Donal

    ()

    (National University of Ireland, Maynooth)

A number of researchers and policy makers have recently argued that the most effective way of dealing with long-run disadvantage and the intergenerational transmission of poverty is through early childhood intervention and in particular policies aimed at supporting the family in early childhood development. In this paper we carry out a randomised evaluation of one such programme aimed at improving the skills and parenting strategies of parents, particularly those who find their child's behaviour difficult or challenging. Our evaluation shows that the treatment significantly reduced behavioural problems in young children when measured 6 months after the intervention. Furthermore our detailed cost analysis, combined with a consideration of the potential long-run benefits associated with the programme, suggest that the long-run rate of return to society from this programme is likely to be relatively high.

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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 4518.

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Length: 31 pages
Date of creation: Oct 2009
Date of revision:
Publication status: published as 'A cost-effectiveness analysis of the Incredible Years parenting programme in reducing childhood health inequalities' in: European Journal of Health Economics, 2013, 14 (1), 85-94.
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp4518
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  1. Carneiro, Pedro & Heckman, James J., 2003. "Human Capital Policy," IZA Discussion Papers 821, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. Andrew H. Briggs, 1999. "A Bayesian approach to stochastic cost-effectiveness analysis," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 8(3), pages 257-261.
  3. Andrew Briggs & Paul Fenn, 1998. "Confidence intervals or surfaces? Uncertainty on the cost-effectiveness plane," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 7(8), pages 723-740.
  4. James J. Heckman, 2000. "Policies to Foster Human Capital," JCPR Working Papers 154, Northwestern University/University of Chicago Joint Center for Poverty Research.
  5. Madden, David & Nolan, Anne & Nolan, Brian, 2004. "GP Reimbursement and Visiting Behaviour in Ireland," Papers HRBWP09, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI).
  6. Mickael Löthgren & Niklas Zethraeus, 2000. "Definition, interpretation and calculation of cost-effectiveness acceptability curves," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 9(7), pages 623-630.
  7. Elisabeth Fenwick & Bernie J. O'Brien & Andrew Briggs, 2004. "Cost-effectiveness acceptability curves - facts, fallacies and frequently asked questions," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 13(5), pages 405-415.
  8. Colm Harmon & Brian Nolan, 2001. "Health insurance and health services utilization in Ireland," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 10(2), pages 135-145.
  9. Aaron A. Stinnett & John Mullahy, 1998. "Net Health Benefits: A New Framework for the Analysis of Uncertainty in Cost-Effectiveness Analysis," NBER Technical Working Papers 0227, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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