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Early Childhood Stimulation Interventions in Developing Countries: A Comprehensive Literature Review

  • Baker-Henningham, Helen


    (University of the West Indies, Mona)

  • López Bóo, Florencia


    (Inter-American Development Bank)

This report reviews the effectiveness of early childhood stimulation interventions in developing countries. The report aims to answer the questions: What works in terms of early stimulation for young children in developing countries? For whom and under what conditions do these programs work and why do they work. The report is divided into several sections. Firstly, a brief discussion of the importance of early stimulation for young children in developing countries is provided. Secondly, the methods used to identify and characterize studies are provided and a review of randomized or quasi-experimental trials is presented. Thirdly, a review of the evidence for who benefits most from early interventions is presented followed by a review of program characteristics that affect the success of interventions and an examination of potential mechanisms through which interventions achieve their effects. Finally, recommendations for practice and future research are provided.

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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 5282.

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Length: 73 pages
Date of creation: Oct 2010
Date of revision:
Publication status: published as 'Intervenciones de estimulación infantil temprana en los países en vías de desarrollo: lo que funciona, por qué y para quién' in: Económica, 2014, 60, 120-186
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp5282
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  1. Barnett, W. Steven & Belfield, Clive R., 2006. "Early childhood development and social mobility," MPRA Paper 858, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  2. James J. Heckman & Dimitriy V. Masterov, 2007. "The Productivity Argument for Investing in Young Children," NBER Working Papers 13016, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Milagros Nores & Steven W. Barnett, 2012. "Benefits of Early Childhood Interventions Across the World: (Under) Investing in the Very Young," Educational Studies, Higher School of Economics, issue 1, pages 200-228.
  4. James J. Heckman & Jora Stixrud & Sergio Urzua, 2006. "The Effects of Cognitive and Noncognitive Abilities on Labor Market Outcomes and Social Behavior," NBER Working Papers 12006, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Richard J. Murnane & John B. Willett & Frank Levy, 1995. "The Growing Importance of Cognitive Skills in Wage Determination," NBER Working Papers 5076, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Cunha, Flavio & Heckman, James J. & Lochner, Lance John & Masterov, Dimitriy V., 2005. "Interpreting the Evidence on Life Cycle Skill Formation," IZA Discussion Papers 1675, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  7. 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).
  8. Armecin, Graeme & Behrman, Jere R. & Duazo, Paulita & Ghuman, Sharon & Gultiano, Socorro & King, Elizabeth M. & Lee, Nannette, 2006. "Early childhood development through an integrated program : evidence from the Philippines," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3922, The World Bank.
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