IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/nbr/nberwo/21766.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Early Childhood Education

Author

Listed:
  • Sneha Elango
  • Jorge Luis García
  • James J. Heckman
  • Andrés Hojman

Abstract

This paper organizes and synthesizes the literature on early childhood education and childcare. In it, we go beyond meta-analysis and reanalyze primary data sources in a common framework. We consider the evidence from means-tested demonstration programs, large-scale means-tested programs and universal programs without means testing. We discuss which programs are beneficial and whether they are cost-effective for certain populations. The evidence from high-quality demonstration programs targeted toward disadvantaged children shows beneficial effects. Returns exceed costs, even accounting for the deadweight loss of collecting taxes. When proper policy counterfactuals are constructed, Head Start has beneficial effects on disadvantaged children compared to home alternatives. Universal programs benefit disadvantaged children.

Suggested Citation

  • Sneha Elango & Jorge Luis García & James J. Heckman & Andrés Hojman, 2015. "Early Childhood Education," NBER Working Papers 21766, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:21766
    Note: CH ED
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w21766.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Bartik, Timothy J. & Gormley, William & Adelstein, Shirley, 2012. "Earnings benefits of Tulsa's pre-K program for different income groups," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 31(6), pages 1143-1161.
    2. Currie, Janet & Thomas, Duncan, 1999. "Does Head Start help hispanic children?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 74(2), pages 235-262, November.
    3. Erik Hanushek & Stephen Machin & Ludger Woessmann (ed.), 2011. "Handbook of the Economics of Education," Handbook of the Economics of Education, Elsevier, edition 1, volume 4, number 4, June.
    4. James J. Heckman & Stefano Mosso, 2014. "The Economics of Human Development and Social Mobility," Annual Review of Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 6(1), pages 689-733, August.
    5. David Deming, 2009. "Early Childhood Intervention and Life-Cycle Skill Development: Evidence from Head Start," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 1(3), pages 111-134, July.
    6. Patrick Kline & Melissa Tartari, 2016. "Bounding the Labor Supply Responses to a Randomized Welfare Experiment: A Revealed Preference Approach," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 106(4), pages 972-1014, April.
    7. Elizabeth Cascio & Diane Whitmore Schanzenbach, 2013. "The Impacts of Expanding Access to High-Quality Preschool Education," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 44(2 (Fall)), pages 127-192.
    8. James J. Heckman & Rodrigo Pinto, 2015. "Econometric Mediation Analyses: Identifying the Sources of Treatment Effects from Experimentally Estimated Production Technologies with Unmeasured and Mismeasured Inputs," Econometric Reviews, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 34(1-2), pages 6-31, February.
    9. Marianne Bertrand & Jessica Pan, 2013. "The Trouble with Boys: Social Influences and the Gender Gap in Disruptive Behavior," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 5(1), pages 32-64, January.
    10. Eliana Garces & Duncan Thomas & Janet Currie, 2002. "Longer-Term Effects of Head Start," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(4), pages 999-1012, September.
    11. Michael Baker & Jonathan Gruber & Kevin Milligan, 2008. "Universal Child Care, Maternal Labor Supply, and Family Well-Being," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 116(4), pages 709-745, August.
    12. James Heckman & Flavio Cunha, 2007. "The Technology of Skill Formation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(2), pages 31-47, May.
    13. Flavio Cunha & James Heckman & Salvador Navarro, 2005. "Separating uncertainty from heterogeneity in life cycle earnings," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 57(2), pages 191-261, April.
    14. Raquel Bernal & Michael P. Keane, 2011. "Child Care Choices and Children's Cognitive Achievement: The Case of Single Mothers," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 29(3), pages 459-512.
    15. Pedro Carneiro & Rita Ginja, 2014. "Long-Term Impacts of Compensatory Preschool on Health and Behavior: Evidence from Head Start," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 6(4), pages 135-173, November.
    16. Raj Chetty & John N. Friedman & Nathaniel Hilger & Emmanuel Saez & Diane Whitmore Schanzenbach & Danny Yagan, 2011. "How Does Your Kindergarten Classroom Affect Your Earnings? Evidence from Project Star," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 126(4), pages 1593-1660.
    17. 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, Third Edition, pages 257-298, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    18. Michael J. Kottelenberg & Steven F. Lehrer, 2013. "New Evidence on the Impacts of Access to and Attending Universal Child-Care in Canada," Canadian Public Policy, University of Toronto Press, vol. 39(2), pages 263-286, June.
    19. Diego Restuccia & Carlos Urrutia, 2004. "Intergenerational Persistence of Earnings: The Role of Early and College Education," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(5), pages 1354-1378, December.
    20. Patrick Kline & Christopher R. Walters, 2016. "Evaluating Public Programs with Close Substitutes: The Case of HeadStart," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 131(4), pages 1795-1848.
    21. repec:mpr:mprres:5219 is not listed on IDEAS
    22. A. J. Reynolds & J. A. Temple, "undated". "Extended early childhood intervention and school achievement: Age 13 findings from the Chicago longitudinal study," Institute for Research on Poverty Discussion Papers 1095-96, University of Wisconsin Institute for Research on Poverty.
    23. Heckman, James J. & Kautz, Tim, 2012. "Hard evidence on soft skills," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(4), pages 451-464.
    24. Mehmet Soytas & Limor Golan & George-Levi Gayle, 2014. "What Accounts for the Racial Gap in Time Allocation and Intergenerational Transmission of Human Capital?," 2014 Meeting Papers 83, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    25. Flavio Cunha & James J. Heckman, 2009. "The Economics and Psychology of Inequality and Human DEvelopment," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 7(2-3), pages 320-364, 04-05.
    26. Elizabeth M. Caucutt & Lance Lochner, 2020. "Early and Late Human Capital Investments, Borrowing Constraints, and the Family," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 128(3), pages 1065-1147.
    27. Lex Borghans & Huub Meijers & Bas Ter Weel, 2008. "The Role Of Noncognitive Skills In Explaining Cognitive Test Scores," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 46(1), pages 2-12, January.
    28. Jens Ludwig & Douglas L. Miller, 2007. "Does Head Start Improve Children's Life Chances? Evidence from a Regression Discontinuity Design," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 122(1), pages 159-208.
    29. Ellwood, David T. & Jencks, Christopher, 2004. "The Spread of Single-Parent Families in the United States since 1960," Working Paper Series rwp04-008, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
    30. James J. Heckman, 2008. "Schools, Skills, And Synapses," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 46(3), pages 289-324, July.
    31. Diane Paulsell & Julie Cohen & Ail Stieglitz & Erica Lurie-Hurvitz & Emily Fenichel & Ellen Kisker, "undated". "Partnerships for Quality: Improving Infant-Toddler Child Care for Low-Income Families," Mathematica Policy Research Reports 8174017a2d3542dcb2d52494a, Mathematica Policy Research.
    32. Heckman, James J. & Urzúa, Sergio, 2010. "Comparing IV with structural models: What simple IV can and cannot identify," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 156(1), pages 27-37, May.
    33. Currie, Janet & Thomas, Duncan, 1995. "Does Head Start Make a Difference?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(3), pages 341-364, June.
    34. James Heckman & Neil Hohmann & Jeffrey Smith & Michael Khoo, 2000. "Substitution and Dropout Bias in Social Experiments: A Study of an Influential Social Experiment," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 115(2), pages 651-694.
    35. Flavio Cunha & James J. Heckman & Susanne M. Schennach, 2010. "Estimating the Technology of Cognitive and Noncognitive Skill Formation," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 78(3), pages 883-931, May.
    36. Bernal, Raquel & Keane, Michael P., 2010. "Quasi-structural estimation of a model of childcare choices and child cognitive ability production," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 156(1), pages 164-189, May.
    37. Sara Mclanahan, 2004. "Diverging destinies: How children are faring under the second demographic transition," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 41(4), pages 607-627, November.
    38. repec:mpr:mprres:3219 is not listed on IDEAS
    39. Janet Currie & Duncan Thomas, 2000. "School Quality and the Longer-Term Effects of Head Start," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 35(4), pages 755-774.
    40. Baker, Michael, 2011. "Universal Early Childhood Interventions: What is the Evidence Base?," CLSSRN working papers clsrn_admin-2011-29, Vancouver School of Economics, revised 28 Nov 2011.
    41. Junjian Yi & James J. Heckman & Junsen Zhang & Gabriella Conti, 2015. "Early Health Shocks, Intra†household Resource Allocation and Child Outcomes," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 125(588), pages 347-371, November.
    42. 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.
    43. Raquel Bernal, 2008. "The Effect Of Maternal Employment And Child Care On Children'S Cognitive Development," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 49(4), pages 1173-1209, November.
    44. Junjian Yi & James J. Heckman & Junsen Zhang & Gabriella Conti, 2014. "Early Health Shocks, Intrahousehold Resource Allocation, and Child Outcomes," Working Papers 2014-022, Human Capital and Economic Opportunity Working Group.
    45. Janet Currie, 2001. "Early Childhood Education Programs," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 15(2), pages 213-238, Spring.
    46. Marianne P. Bitler & Hilary W. Hoynes & Thurston Domina, 2014. "Experimental Evidence on Distributional Effects of Head Start," NBER Working Papers 20434, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    47. Christopher Walters, 2014. "Inputs in the Production of Early Childhood Human Capital: Evidence from Head Start," NBER Working Papers 20639, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    48. Fitzpatrick Maria D, 2008. "Starting School at Four: The Effect of Universal Pre-Kindergarten on Children's Academic Achievement," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 8(1), pages 1-40, November.
    49. Tarjei Havnes & Magne Mogstad, 2011. "No Child Left Behind: Subsidized Child Care and Children's Long-Run Outcomes," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 3(2), pages 97-129, May.
    50. Heckman, James, 2013. "Sample selection bias as a specification error," Applied Econometrics, Publishing House "SINERGIA PRESS", vol. 31(3), pages 129-137.
    51. Becker, Gary S & Tomes, Nigel, 1979. "An Equilibrium Theory of the Distribution of Income and Intergenerational Mobility," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(6), pages 1153-1189, December.
    52. Flávio Cunha & Irma Elo & Jennifer Culhane, 2013. "Eliciting Maternal Expectations about the Technology of Cognitive Skill Formation," NBER Working Papers 19144, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    53. Havnes, Tarjei & Mogstad, Magne, 2015. "Is universal child care leveling the playing field?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 127(C), pages 100-114.
    54. 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).
    55. John M. Love & Ellen E. Kisker & Christine Ross & Helen Raikes & Jill Constantine & Kimberly Boller & Jeanne Brooks-Gunn & Rachel Chazan-Cohen & Louisa Banks Tarullo & Christy Brady-Smith & Allison Si, "undated". "The Effectiveness of Early Head Start for 3-Year-Old Children and Their Parents: Lessons for Policy and Programs," Mathematica Policy Research Reports 10736b794ab64be890ae75757, Mathematica Policy Research.
    56. Greg J. Duncan & Aaron J. Sojourner, 2013. "Can Intensive Early Childhood Intervention Programs Eliminate Income-Based Cognitive and Achievement Gaps?," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 48(4), pages 945-968.
    57. William T. Gormley, Jr. & Ted Gayer, 2005. "Promoting School Readiness in Oklahoma: An Evaluation of Tulsa's Pre-K Program," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 40(3).
    58. 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.
    59. Greg J. Duncan & Katherine Magnuson, 2013. "Investing in Preschool Programs," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 27(2), pages 109-132, Spring.
    60. Cheri Vogel & Nikki Aikens & Andrew Burwick & Laura Hawkinson & Angela Richardson & Linda Mendenko & Rachel Chazan-Cohen, "undated". "Findings from the Survey of Early Head Start Programs: Communities, Programs, and Families," Mathematica Policy Research Reports 8e930dc6fa2c4b549b7875ade, Mathematica Policy Research.
    61. Michael Baker, 2011. "Innis Lecture: Universal early childhood interventions: what is the evidence base?," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 44(4), pages 1069-1105, November.
    62. Michael Baker & Jonathan Gruber & Kevin Milligan, 2015. "Non-Cognitive Deficits and Young Adult Outcomes: The Long-Run Impacts of a Universal Child Care Program," NBER Working Papers 21571, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    63. Flavio Cunha & James J. Heckman, 2009. "The Economics & Psychology of Inequality and Human Development," Working Papers 200905, Geary Institute, University College Dublin.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Blog mentions

    As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. Early Childhood Education
      by maximorossi in NEP-LTV blog on 2016-02-12 18:22:53

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Cascio, Elizabeth U., 2017. "Does Universal Preschool Hit the Target? Program Access and Preschool Impacts," IZA Discussion Papers 10596, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    2. Özler, Berk & Fernald, Lia C.H. & Kariger, Patricia & McConnell, Christin & Neuman, Michelle & Fraga, Eduardo, 2018. "Combining pre-school teacher training with parenting education: A cluster-randomized controlled trial," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 133(C), pages 448-467.
    3. Huang, Cheng & Zhang, Shiying & Zhao, Qingguo, 2020. "The early bird catches the worm? School entry cutoff and the timing of births," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 143(C).
    4. van Huizen, Thomas & Plantenga, Janneke, 2018. "Do children benefit from universal early childhood education and care? A meta-analysis of evidence from natural experiments," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 66(C), pages 206-222.
    5. Robert Rogers & Doan Hai Ma & Tra Nguyen & Ngoc Anh Nguyen, 2019. "Early childhood education and cognitive outcomes in adolescence: a longitudinal study from Vietnam," Education Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 27(6), pages 658-669, November.
    6. Jun Hyung Kim, 2018. "The Economics of Parenting Skill and Child Development," 2018 Papers pki542, Job Market Papers.
    7. Katharina Werner, 2019. "Der Einfluss von Informationen auf die öffentliche Meinung zur Bildung - Erkenntnisse aus repräsentativen Befragungsexperimenten," ifo Beiträge zur Wirtschaftsforschung, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, number 82, April.
    8. Kuehnle, Daniel & Oberfichtner, Michael, 2017. "Does early child care attendance influence children's cognitive and non-cognitive skill development?," Discussion Papers 100, Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen-Nuremberg, Chair of Labour and Regional Economics.
    9. Huebener, Mathias & Kuehnle, Daniel & Spiess, C. Katharina, 2019. "Parental leave policies and socio-economic gaps in child development: Evidence from a substantial benefit reform using administrative data," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 61(C).
    10. Aaron Sojourner & José Pacas, 2019. "The Relationship Between Union Membership and Net Fiscal Impact," Industrial Relations: A Journal of Economy and Society, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 58(1), pages 86-107, January.
    11. Kuger, Susanne & Marcus, Jan & Spiess, C. Katharina, 2019. "Day care quality and changes in the home learning environment of children," EconStor Open Access Articles, ZBW - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics, pages 265-286.
    12. Remy J. -C. Pages & Dylan J. Lukes & Drew H. Bailey & Greg J. Duncan, 2019. "Elusive Longer-Run Impacts of Head Start: Replications Within and Across Cohorts," Papers 1903.01954, arXiv.org, revised Feb 2020.
    13. Georg F. Camehl & C. Katharina Spieß & Kurt Hahlweg, 2019. "Short- and Mid-Term Effects of a Parenting Program on Maternal Well-Being: Evidence for More and Less Advantaged Mothers," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 1062, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
    14. Monique De Haan & Edwin Leuven, 2016. "Head Start and the Distribution of Long Term Education and Labor Market Outcomes," CESifo Working Paper Series 5870, CESifo Group Munich.
    15. Kuehnle, Daniel & Oberfichtner, Michael, 2017. "Does early child care attendance influence children's cognitive and non-cognitive skill development?," Annual Conference 2017 (Vienna): Alternative Structures for Money and Banking 168241, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    16. Aydemir, Abdurrahman B. & Yazici, Hakki, 2019. "Intergenerational education mobility and the level of development," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 116(C), pages 160-185.
    17. Victoria Baranov & Sonia Bhalotra & Pietro Biroli & Joanna Maselko, 2017. "Maternal Depression, Women’s Empowerment, and Parental Investment: Evidence from a Large Randomized Control Trial," CHILD Working Papers Series 60 JEL Classification: I1, Centre for Household, Income, Labour and Demographic Economics (CHILD) - CCA.
    18. Christian Dustmann & Rasmus Landersø, 2018. "Child's Gender, Young Fathers' Crime, and Spillover Effects in Criminal Behavior," CReAM Discussion Paper Series 1805, Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration (CReAM), Department of Economics, University College London.
    19. Doyle, Orla & Harmon, Colm & Heckman, James J. & Logue, Caitriona & Moon, Seong Hyeok, 2017. "Early skill formation and the efficiency of parental investment: A randomized controlled trial of home visiting," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 45(C), pages 40-58.
    20. Pablo Lavado & Nelson Oviedo & Hernán Ruffo, 2016. "Destruction of Cognitive and Noncognitive Skills in Adulthood," Working Papers 16-07, Centro de Investigación, Universidad del Pacífico.
    21. Werner, Katharina, 2018. "Obstacles to Efficient Allocations of Public Education Spending," Rationality and Competition Discussion Paper Series 128, CRC TRR 190 Rationality and Competition.
    22. Kim, Jun Hyung & Schulz, Wolfgang & Zimmermann, Tanja & Hahlweg, Kurt, 2018. "Parent–child interactions and child outcomes: Evidence from randomized intervention," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(C), pages 152-171.
    23. Victoria Baranov & Sonia Bhalotra & Pietro Biroli & Joanna Maselko, 2018. "Maternal Depression, Women’s Empowerment, and Parental Investment: Evidence from a Randomized Control Trial," Working Papers 2018-021, Human Capital and Economic Opportunity Working Group.
    24. Sun, Jin & Lau, Carrie & Sincovich, Alanna & Rao, Nirmala, 2018. "Socioeconomic status and early child development in East Asia and the Pacific: The protective role of parental engagement in learning activities," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 93(C), pages 321-330.
    25. Baranov, Victoria & Bhalotra, Sonia R. & Biroli, Pietro & Maselko, Joanna, 2017. "Maternal Depression, Women's Empowerment, and Parental Investment: Evidence from a Large Randomized Control Trial," IZA Discussion Papers 11187, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • C93 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Field Experiments
    • I28 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Government Policy
    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:21766. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/nberrus.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.