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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 Chicago)

  • 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. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Robert Jennrich, 2006. "Rotation to Simple Loadings Using Component Loss Functions: The Oblique Case," Psychometrika, Springer, vol. 71(1), pages 173-191, March.
  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. R. Jennrich & P. Sampson, 1966. "Rotation for simple loadings," Psychometrika, Springer, vol. 31(3), pages 313-323, September.
  6. James J. Heckman & Seong Hyeok Moon & Rodrigo Pinto & Peter A. Savelyev & Adam Yavitz, 2009. "The Rate of Return to the High/Scope Perry Preschool Program," Working Papers 200936, Geary Institute, University College Dublin.
  7. 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.
  8. 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," Working Papers 201034, Geary Institute, University College Dublin.
  9. Charles Crawford & George Ferguson, 1970. "A general rotation criterion and its use in orthogonal rotation," Psychometrika, Springer, vol. 35(3), pages 321-332, September.
  10. John Horn, 1965. "A rationale and test for the number of factors in factor analysis," Psychometrika, Springer, vol. 30(2), pages 179-185, June.
  11. Heckman, James J. & Kautz, Tim, 2012. "Hard evidence on soft skills," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(4), pages 451-464.
  12. Susanne Schennach & James Heckman & Flavio Cunha, 2007. "Estimating the Technology of Cognitive and Noncognitive Skill Formation," 2007 Meeting Papers 973, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  13. Alexei Onatski, 2009. "Testing Hypotheses About the Number of Factors in Large Factor Models," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 77(5), pages 1447-1479, 09.
  14. 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.
  15. Louis Guttman, 1954. "Some necessary conditions for common-factor analysis," Psychometrika, Springer, vol. 19(2), pages 149-161, June.
  16. 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).
  17. 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).
  18. John Carroll, 1953. "An analytical solution for approximating simple structure in factor analysis," Psychometrika, Springer, vol. 18(1), pages 23-38, March.
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