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A Model of Intervention in Childhood

  • James Symons

    (Claremont McKenna College)

  • Leon Feinstein

    (Institute for Education, Centre for Research on the Wider Benefits of Learning,20 Bedford Way, London WC1H OAL, England Associate at the Centre for the Economics of Education, London School of Economics, England)

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    This paper describes a model and resulting simulations to assess the appropriate age structure of intervention in childhood on the theme: should we intervene early or late? We use asset theory approaches to construct a general model of state investment whose aim is to reduce inequality in human capital. We set out the key parameters of such a model, clarifying the assumptions that must be made by state planners or economists in assessing the relative value of targeted investment at different ages in the presence of a range of elements of uncertainty. We simulate the model showing how the age-investment schedule will vary under different assumptions. Early investment is highly valued because of the likely decline with age in effectiveness but the trade-offs are strongly moderated by other important assumptions around which there is uncertainty or are choice variables of the state planner.

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    File URL: http://www.ucd.ie/geary/static/publications/workingpapers/gearywp200809.pdf
    File Function: Version 2.3, 2008
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    Paper provided by Geary Institute, University College Dublin in its series Working Papers with number 200809.

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    Length: 24 pages
    Date of creation: 27 Mar 2008
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:ucd:wpaper:200809
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    1. Victor R. Fuchs, 1982. "Time Preference and Health: An Exploratory Study," NBER Chapters, in: Economic Aspects of Health, pages 93-120 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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