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Understanding the Mechanisms Through Which an Influential Early Childhood Program Boosted Adult Outcomes

  • Heckman, James J.

    ()

    (University of Chicago)

  • Pinto, Rodrigo

    ()

    (University of California, Los Angeles)

  • Savelyev, Peter

    ()

    (Vanderbilt University)

A growing literature establishes that high quality early childhood interventions targeted toward disadvantaged children have substantial impacts on later life outcomes. Little is known about the mechanisms producing these impacts. This paper uses longitudinal data on cognitive and personality traits from an experimental evaluation of the influential Perry Preschool program to analyze the channels through which the program boosted both male and female participant outcomes. Experimentally induced changes in personality traits explain a sizable portion of adult treatment effects.

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File URL: http://ftp.iza.org/dp7040.pdf
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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 7040.

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Length: 50 pages
Date of creation: Nov 2012
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: American Economic Review, 2013, 103 (6), 2052-86
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp7040
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  1. Flavio Cunha & James J. Heckman, 2008. "Formulating, Identifying and Estimating the Technology of Cognitive and Noncognitive Skill Formation," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 43(4).
  2. Joseph Romano & Michael Wolf, 2003. "Exact and approximate stepdown methods for multiple hypothesis testing," Economics Working Papers 727, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
  3. Cunha, Flavio & Heckman, James J. & Schennach, Susanne, 2010. "Estimating the Technology of Cognitive and Noncognitive Skill Formation," IZA Discussion Papers 4702, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  4. James J. Heckman & Tim D. Kautz, 2012. "Hard Evidence on Soft Skills," NBER Working Papers 18121, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. James J. Heckman, 1999. "Policies to Foster Human Capital," NBER Working Papers 7288, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Mathilde Almlund & Angela Lee Duckworth & James J. Heckman & Tim D. Kautz, 2011. "Personality Psychology and Economics," NBER Working Papers 16822, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Lex Borghans & Bart H.H. Golsteyn & James J. Heckman & John Eric Humphries, 2011. "Identification Problems in Personality Psychology," NBER Working Papers 16917, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Robert Jennrich, 2006. "Rotation to Simple Loadings Using Component Loss Functions: The Oblique Case," Psychometrika, Springer, vol. 71(1), pages 173-191, March.
  9. Louis Guttman, 1954. "Some necessary conditions for common-factor analysis," Psychometrika, Springer, vol. 19(2), pages 149-161, June.
  10. Heckman, James J. & Moon, Seong Hyeok & Pinto, Rodrigo & Savelyev, Peter & Yavitz, Adam, 2009. "The Rate of Return to the High/Scope Perry Preschool Program," IZA Discussion Papers 4533, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  11. 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).
  12. James J. Heckman & Seong Hyeok Moon & Rodrigo Pinto & Peter A. Savelyev & Adam Yavitz, 2010. "Analyzing Social Experiments as Implemented: A Reexamination of the Evidence From the HighScope Perry Preschool Program," NBER Working Papers 16238, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. John Horn, 1965. "A rationale and test for the number of factors in factor analysis," Psychometrika, Springer, vol. 30(2), pages 179-185, June.
  14. R. Jennrich & P. Sampson, 1966. "Rotation for simple loadings," Psychometrika, Springer, vol. 31(3), pages 313-323, September.
  15. John Carroll, 1953. "An analytical solution for approximating simple structure in factor analysis," Psychometrika, Springer, vol. 18(1), pages 23-38, March.
  16. Charles Crawford & George Ferguson, 1970. "A general rotation criterion and its use in orthogonal rotation," Psychometrika, Springer, vol. 35(3), pages 321-332, September.
  17. Alexei Onatski, 2009. "Testing Hypotheses About the Number of Factors in Large Factor Models," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 77(5), pages 1447-1479, 09.
  18. Anderson, Michael L., 2008. "Multiple Inference and Gender Differences in the Effects of Early Intervention: A Reevaluation of the Abecedarian, Perry Preschool, and Early Training Projects," Journal of the American Statistical Association, American Statistical Association, vol. 103(484), pages 1481-1495.
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