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The Life-cycle Benefits of an Influential Early Childhood Program

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Listed:
  • Jorge Luis García
  • James J. Heckman
  • Duncan Ermini Leaf
  • María José Prados

Abstract

This paper estimates the long-term benefits from an influential early childhood program targeting disadvantaged families. The program was evaluated by random assignment and followed participants through their mid-30s. It has substantial beneficial impacts on health, children's future labor incomes, crime, education, and mothers' labor incomes, with greater monetized benefits for males. Lifetime returns are estimated by pooling multiple data sets using testable economic models. The overall rate of return is 13.7% per annum, and the benefit/cost ratio is 7.3. These estimates are robust to numerous sensitivity analyses.

Suggested Citation

  • Jorge Luis García & James J. Heckman & Duncan Ermini Leaf & María José Prados, 2016. "The Life-cycle Benefits of an Influential Early Childhood Program," NBER Working Papers 22993, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:22993
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Blog mentions

    As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. The Life-cycle Benefits of an Influential Early Childhood Program
      by maximorossi in NEP-LTV blog on 2017-02-07 23:36:29
    2. The Life-cycle Benefits of an Influential Early Childhood Program
      by maximorossi in NEP-LTV blog on 2017-03-31 18:11:48

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    Cited by:

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    2. Lastra-Anadón, Carlos & Muñiz, Manuel Antonio, 2017. "Technological change, inequality and the collapse of the liberal order," Economics Discussion Papers 2017-43, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW).
    3. Chao Fu & Nicolás Grau & Jorge Rivera, 2020. "Wandering Astray: Teenagers' Choices of Schooling and Crime," NBER Working Papers 26858, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Gabriella Conti & Giacomo Mason & Stavros Poupakis, 2019. "Developmental origins of health inequality," IFS Working Papers W19/17, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
    5. Flèche, Sarah & Lekfuangfu, Warn N. & Clark, Andrew E., 2021. "The long-lasting effects of family and childhood on adult wellbeing: Evidence from British cohort data," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 181(C), pages 290-311.
    6. Nores, Milagros & Bernal, Raquel & Barnett, W. Steven, 2019. "Center-based care for infants and toddlers: The aeioTU randomized trial," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 72(C), pages 30-43.
    7. Ramon Flecha, 2020. "Contributions from Social Theory to Sustainability for All," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 12(23), pages 1-11, November.
    8. Wisuwat Chujan & Weerachart T. Kilenthong, 2019. "An Early Evaluation of a HighScope-Based Curriculum Intervention in Rural Thailand," PIER Discussion Papers 103, Puey Ungphakorn Institute for Economic Research, revised Jan 2019.
    9. García, Jorge Luis & Heckman, James J. & Ziff, Anna L., 2018. "Gender differences in the benefits of an influential early childhood program," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 109(C), pages 9-22.
    10. Daniela Del Boca & Chiara Monfardini & Sarah Grace See, 2017. "Government education expenditures, pre-primary education and school performance: A cross-country analysis," CHILD Working Papers Series 61 JEL Classification: J1, Centre for Household, Income, Labour and Demographic Economics (CHILD) - CCA.
    11. Jens Dietrichson & Ida Lykke Kristiansen & Bjørn A. Viinholt, 2020. "Universal Preschool Programs And Long‐Term Child Outcomes: A Systematic Review," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 34(5), pages 1007-1043, December.
    12. Shelley Clark & Caroline W. Kabiru & Sonia Laszlo & Stella Muthuri, 2019. "The Impact of Childcare on Poor Urban Women’s Economic Empowerment in Africa," Demography, Springer;Population Association of America (PAA), vol. 56(4), pages 1247-1272, August.
    13. Víctor Giménez & Claudio Thieme & Diego Prior & Emili Tortosa-Ausina, 2020. "Evaluation and determinants of pre-school effectiveness in Chile," Working Papers 2020/02, Economics Department, Universitat Jaume I, Castellón (Spain).
    14. Diego Daruich, 2017. "From Childhood to Adult Inequality: Parental Investments and Early Childhood Development," 2017 Meeting Papers 770, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    15. Charle Augusto Londoño Henao, 2020. "Cost-Efficiency Index of the Development Plan of Medellín, 2015," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 152(1), pages 335-367, November.
    16. Hélène Périvier & Réjane Sénac, 2018. "The new spirit of neoliberalism: equality and economic prosperity," Sciences Po publications info:hdl:2441/14c56gh1hq9, Sciences Po.
    17. Hélène Périvier & Réjane Sénac, 2018. "The new spirit of neoliberalism: equality and economic prosperity," Post-Print hal-02403971, HAL.
    18. Wisuwat Chujan & Weerachart T. Kilenthong, 2019. "Short-term Impact of an Early Childhood Curriculum Intervention in Rural Thailand," Working Papers 2019-077, Human Capital and Economic Opportunity Working Group.
    19. Emily Moschini, 2019. "Child Care Subsidies with One- and Two-Parent Families," 2019 Meeting Papers 42, Society for Economic Dynamics.

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    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

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