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The Effects of Two Influential Early Childhood Interventions on Health and Healthy Behaviors

Author

Listed:
  • Gabriella Conti
  • James J. Heckman
  • Rodrigo Pinto

Abstract

This paper examines the long-term impacts on health and healthy behaviors of two of the oldest and most widely cited U.S. early childhood interventions evaluated by the method of randomization with long-term follow-up: the Perry Preschool Project (PPP) and the Carolina Abecedarian Project (ABC). There are pronounced gender effects strongly favoring boys, although there are also effects for girls. Dynamic mediation analyses show a significant role played by improved childhood traits, above and beyond the effects of experimentally enhanced adult socioeconomic status. These results show the potential of early life interventions for promoting health.

Suggested Citation

  • Gabriella Conti & James J. Heckman & Rodrigo Pinto, 2015. "The Effects of Two Influential Early Childhood Interventions on Health and Healthy Behaviors," NBER Working Papers 21454, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:21454
    Note: CH HC HE LS
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Augustine Denteh & Daniel L. Millimet & Rusty Tchernis, 2019. "The origins of early childhood anthropometric persistence," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 56(6), pages 2185-2224, June.
    2. Matt Dickson & Paul Gregg & Harriet Robinson, 2016. "Early, Late or Never? When Does Parental Education Impact Child Outcomes?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 126(596), pages 184-231, October.
    3. James J. Heckman & Jeffrey Smith & Nancy Clements, 1997. "Making The Most Out Of Programme Evaluations and Social Experiments: Accounting For Heterogeneity in Programme Impacts," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 64(4), pages 487-535.
    4. repec:aph:ajpbhl:10.2105/ajph.2013.301229_1 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. D'Onise, Katina & Lynch, John W. & Sawyer, Michael G. & McDermott, Robyn A., 2010. "Can preschool improve child health outcomes? A systematic review," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 70(9), pages 1423-1440, May.
    6. James Heckman & Rodrigo Pinto & Peter Savelyev, 2013. "Understanding the Mechanisms through Which an Influential Early Childhood Program Boosted Adult Outcomes," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 103(6), pages 2052-2086, October.
    7. James P. Smith, 1999. "Healthy Bodies and Thick Wallets: The Dual Relation between Health and Economic Status," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 13(2), pages 145-166, Spring.
    8. 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, July.
    9. Cobb-Clark, Deborah A. & Kassenboehmer, Sonja C. & Schurer, Stefanie, 2014. "Healthy habits: The connection between diet, exercise, and locus of control," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 98(C), pages 1-28.
    10. Conti, Gabriella & Heckman, James J., 2012. "The Economics of Child Well-Being," IZA Discussion Papers 6930, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    11. repec:aph:ajpbhl:10.2105/ajph.2008.148353_9 is not listed on IDEAS
    12. Conti, Gabriella & Hansman, Chris, 2012. "Personality and the education-health gradient," ISER Working Paper Series 2012-20, Institute for Social and Economic Research.
    13. Conti, Gabriella & Hansman, Christopher, 2013. "Personality and the education–health gradient: A note on “Understanding differences in health behaviors by education”," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(2), pages 480-485.
    14. repec:aph:ajpbhl:1995:85:2:223-230_9 is not listed on IDEAS
    15. repec:aph:ajpbhl:10.2105/ajph.2010.200063_8 is not listed on IDEAS
    16. Barnett, W.S. & Masse, Leonard N., 2007. "Comparative benefit-cost analysis of the Abecedarian program and its policy implications," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 26(1), pages 113-125, February.
    17. repec:aph:ajpbhl:2002:92:6:990-996_3 is not listed on IDEAS
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • C12 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General - - - Hypothesis Testing: General
    • C93 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Field Experiments
    • I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Behavior
    • I13 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Insurance, Public and Private
    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity

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