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The Economics of Child Well-Being

  • Gabriella Conti
  • James J. Heckman

This paper presents an integrated economic approach that organizes and interprets the evidence on child development. It also discusses the indicators of child well-being that are used in international comparisons. Recent evidence on child development is summarized, and policies to promote child well-being are discussed. The paper concludes with some open questions and suggestions for future research.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 18466.

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Date of creation: Oct 2012
Date of revision:
Publication status: published as Handbook of Child Well-Being 2014, pp 363-401 Economics of Child Well-Being Gabriella Conti, Dr. James J. Heckman
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:18466
Note: CH PE
Contact details of provider: Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
Phone: 617-868-3900
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  1. Eric Knudsen & James J. Heckman & Judy Cameron & Jack P. Shonkoff, 2006. "Economic, Neurobiological and Behavioral Perspectives on Building America’s Future Workforce," World Economics, World Economics, Economic & Financial Publishing, 1 Ivory Square, Plantation Wharf, London, United Kingdom, SW11 3UE, vol. 7(3), pages 17-41, July.
  2. Flavio Cunha & James Heckman & Susanne Schennach, 2010. "Estimating the technology of cognitive and noncognitive skill formation," CeMMAP working papers CWP09/10, Centre for Microdata Methods and Practice, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  3. Gabriella Conti & Christopher Hansman & James J. Heckman & Matthew F. X. Novak & Angela Ruggiero & Stephen J. Suomi, 2012. "Primate Evidence on the Late Health Effects of Early Life Adversity," Working Papers 2012-008, Human Capital and Economic Opportunity Working Group.
  4. Gary S. Becker & Nigel Tomes, 1994. "Human Capital and the Rise and Fall of Families," NBER Chapters, in: Human Capital: A Theoretical and Empirical Analysis with Special Reference to Education (3rd Edition), pages 257-298 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Yoram Ben-Porath, 1967. "The Production of Human Capital and the Life Cycle of Earnings," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 75, pages 352.
  6. Carneiro, Pedro & Hansen, Karsten & Heckman, James, 2003. "Estimating distributions of treatment effects with an application to the returns to schooling and measurement of the effects of uncertainty on college choice," Working Paper Series 2003:9, IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy.
  7. Cole, Steven W. & Conti, Gabriella & Arevalo, Jesusa M. & Ruggiero, Angela M. & Heckman, James J. & Suomi, Stephen J., 2012. "Transcriptional Modulation of the Developing Immune System by Early Life Social Adversity," IZA Discussion Papers 6915, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  8. Robert Kaestner & Kevin Callison, 2011. "Adolescent Cognitive and Noncognitive Correlates of Adult Health," Journal of Human Capital, University of Chicago Press, vol. 5(1), pages 29 - 69.
  9. Arleen Leibowitz, 1974. "Home Investments in Children," NBER Chapters, in: Marriage, Family, Human Capital, and Fertility, pages 111-135 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. James J. Heckman & Rodrigo Pinto & Peter A. Savelyev, 2012. "Understanding the Mechanisms through Which an Influential Early Childhood Program Boosted Adult Outcomes," Vanderbilt University Department of Economics Working Papers 12-00011, Vanderbilt University Department of Economics.
  11. 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.
  12. James Heckman & Seong Hyeok Moon & Rodrigo Pinto & Peter Savelyev & Adam Yavitz, 2010. "Analyzing social experiments as implemented: A reexamination of the evidence from the HighScope Perry Preschool Program," Quantitative Economics, Econometric Society, vol. 1(1), pages 1-46, 07.
  13. 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).
  14. Sara Mclanahan, 2004. "Diverging destinies: How children are faring under the second demographic transition," Demography, Springer, vol. 41(4), pages 607-627, November.
  15. Andrew M. Jones & Nigel Rice & Pedro Rosa Dias, 2011. "Long-Term Effects of School Quality on Health and Lifestyle: Evidence from Comprehensive Schooling Reforms in England," Journal of Human Capital, University of Chicago Press, vol. 5(3), pages 342 - 376.
  16. Baker-Henningham, Helen & López Bóo, Florencia, 2010. "Early Childhood Stimulation Interventions in Developing Countries: A Comprehensive Literature Review," IZA Discussion Papers 5282, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  17. Daniela Del Boca & Christopher Flinn & Matthew Wiswall, 2010. "Household Choices and Child Development," Working Papers 2011-039, Human Capital and Economic Opportunity Working Group.
  18. Eric I. Knudsen & James J. Heckman & Judy L. Cameron & Jack P. Shonkoff, 2006. "Economic, Neurobiological and Behavioral Perspectives on Building America's Future Workforce," NBER Working Papers 12298, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  19. 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," NBER Working Papers 15471, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  20. Kenneth Land & Vicki Lamb & Sarah Meadows & Ashley Taylor, 2007. "Measuring trends in child well-being: an evidence-based approach," Social Indicators Research, Springer, vol. 80(1), pages 105-132, January.
  21. Rodríguez-Planas, Núria, 2010. "Longer-Term Impacts of Mentoring, Educational Services, and Incentives to Learn: Evidence from a Randomized Trial," IZA Discussion Papers 4754, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  22. Melissa Osborne & Herbert Gintis & Samuel Bowles, 2001. "The Determinants of Earnings: A Behavioral Approach," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 39(4), pages 1137-1176, December.
  23. Arleen Leibowitz, 1974. "Home Investments in Children," NBER Chapters, in: Economics of the Family: Marriage, Children, and Human Capital, pages 432-456 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  24. Janet Currie, 2008. "Healthy, Wealthy, and Wise: Socioeconomic Status, Poor Health in Childhood, and Human Capital Development," NBER Working Papers 13987, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  25. Gabriella Conti & James J. Heckman & Sergio Urzua, 2010. "Early endowments, education, and health," Working Papers 2011-001, Human Capital and Economic Opportunity Working Group.
  26. Liliana Fernandes & Américo Mendes & Aurora Teixeira, 2010. "A review essay on child well-being measurement: uncovering the paths for future research," Working Papers de Economia (Economics Working Papers) 02, Faculdade de Economia e Gestão, Universidade Católica Portuguesa (Porto).
  27. Gabriella Conti & James Heckman & Sergio Urzua, 2010. "The Education-Health Gradient," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(2), pages 234-38, May.
  28. Björklund, Anders & Salvanes, Kjell G., 2010. "Education and family background: Mechanisms and policies," Discussion Paper Series in Economics 14/2010, Department of Economics, Norwegian School of Economics.
  29. Leibowitz, Arleen, 1974. "Home Investments in Children," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 82(2), pages S111-S131, Part II, .
  30. Paul Dolan & Richard Layard & Robert Metcalfe, 2011. "Measuring Subjective Wellbeing for Public Policy: Recommendations on Measures," CEP Special Papers 23, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
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