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Schools, Skills, and Synapses

  • James J. Heckman

    (University of Chicago)

This paper discusses (a) the role of cognitive and noncognitive ability in shaping adult outcomes, (b) the early emergence of differentials in abilities between children of advantaged families and children of disadvantaged families, (c) the role of families in creating these abilities, (d) adverse trends in American families, and (e) the effective- ness of early interventions in offsetting these trends. Practical issues in the design and implementation of early childhood programs are discussed.

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File URL: http://www.ucd.ie/geary/static/publications/workingpapers/gearywp200833.pdf
File Function: First version, 2008
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Paper provided by Geary Institute, University College Dublin in its series Working Papers with number 200833.

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Length: 91 pages
Date of creation: 15 Dec 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ucd:wpaper:200833
Contact details of provider: Postal: Arts Annexe, Belfield, Dublin 4
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  1. Lex Borghans & Angela Lee Duckworth & James J. Heckman & Bas ter Weel, 2008. "The Economics and Psychology of Personality Traits," Working Papers 200827, Geary Institute, University College Dublin.
  2. Philippe Belley & Lance Lochner, 2007. "The Changing Role of Family Income and Ability in Determining Educational Achievement," Working Papers 2011-037, Human Capital and Economic Opportunity Working Group.
  3. Richard J. Murnane & John B. Willett & Frank Levy, 1995. "The Growing Importance of Cognitive Skills in Wage Determination," NBER Working Papers 5076, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. James Heckman & Pedro Carneiro, 2003. "Human Capital Policy," NBER Working Papers 9495, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Knudsen, Eric I. & Heckman, James J. & Cameron, Judy L. & Shonkoff, Jack P., 2006. "Economic, Neurobiological and Behavioral Perspectives on Building America's Future Workforce," IZA Discussion Papers 2190, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  6. Anne Case & Darren Lubotsky & Christina Paxson, 2002. "Economic Status and Health in Childhood: The Origins of the Gradient," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(5), pages 1308-1334, December.
  7. Weinberg, Bruce A. & Borghans, Lex & Weel, Bas ter, 2006. "Interpersonal Styles and Labor Market Outcomes," MERIT Working Papers 045, United Nations University - Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).
  8. Meghir, Costas & Palme, Marten, 2001. "The Effect of a Social Experiment in Education," SSE/EFI Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance 0451, Stockholm School of Economics.
  9. James Heckman & Pedro Carneiro & Flavio Cunha, 2004. "The Technology of Skill Formation," 2004 Meeting Papers 681, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  10. Fogel, Robert William, 1993. "New findings on secular trends in nutrition and mortality: Some implications for population theory," Handbook of Population and Family Economics, in: M. R. Rosenzweig & Stark, O. (ed.), Handbook of Population and Family Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 9, pages 433-481 Elsevier.
  11. Gary S. Becker & Nigel Tomes, . "Human Capital and the Rise and Fall of Families," University of Chicago - Population Research Center 84-10, Chicago - Population Research Center.
  12. Blau, David & Currie, Janet, 2006. "Pre-School, Day Care, and After-School Care: Who's Minding the Kids?," Handbook of the Economics of Education, Elsevier.
  13. Susanne Schennach & James Heckman & Flavio Cunha, 2007. "Estimating the Technology of Cognitive and Noncognitive Skill Formation," 2007 Meeting Papers 973, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  14. Cunha, Flavio & Heckman, James J. & Lochner, Lance John & Masterov, Dimitriy V., 2005. "Interpreting the Evidence on Life Cycle Skill Formation," IZA Discussion Papers 1675, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  15. Yona Rubinstein & James J. Heckman, 2001. "The Importance of Noncognitive Skills: Lessons from the GED Testing Program," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(2), pages 145-149, May.
  16. Derek A. Neal & William R. Johnson, 1995. "The Role of Pre-Market Factors in Black-White Wage Differences," NBER Working Papers 5124, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  17. Grossman, Michael, 1972. "On the Concept of Health Capital and the Demand for Health," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 80(2), pages 223-55, March-Apr.
  18. Heckman, James J. & Moon, Seong Hyeok & Pinto, Rodrigo & Savelyev, Peter A. & Yavitz, Adam, 2010. "The rate of return to the HighScope Perry Preschool Program," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 94(1-2), pages 114-128, February.
  19. Hansen, Karsten T & Heckman, James J & Mullen, Kathleen J, 2003. "The effect of schooling and ability on achievement test scores," Working Paper Series 2003:13, IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy.
  20. Donald Kenkel & Dean Lillard & Alan Mathios, 2006. "The Roles of High School Completion and GED Receipt in Smoking and Obesity," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 24(3), pages 635-660, July.
  21. James Smith, 2007. "Diabetes and the Rise of the SES Health Gradient," NBER Working Papers 12905, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  22. Peter Nilsson, 2008. "Does a pint a day affect your child's pay? The effect of prenatal alcohol exposure on adult outcomes," CeMMAP working papers CWP22/08, Centre for Microdata Methods and Practice, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  23. M. Christopher Auld & Nirmal Sidhu, 2004. "Schooling, cognitive ability, and health," HEW 0406001, EconWPA.
  24. Flavio Cunha & James J. Heckman, 2010. "Investing in Our Young People," NBER Working Papers 16201, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  25. David H. Autor & Lawrence F. Katz & Melissa S. Kearney, 2005. "Trends in U. S. Wage Inequality: Re-Assessing the Revisionists," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 2095, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  26. David Card & Thomas Lemieux, 2001. "Dropout and Enrollment Trends in the Postwar Period: What Went Wrong in the 1970s?," NBER Chapters, in: Risky Behavior among Youths: An Economic Analysis, pages 439-482 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  27. Pedro Carneiro & James J. Heckman, 2002. "The Evidence on Credit Constraints in Post--secondary Schooling," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 112(482), pages 705-734, October.
  28. Cunha, Flavio & Heckman, James J., 2007. "A New Framework for the Analysis of Inequality," IZA Discussion Papers 2565, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  29. James J. Heckman & Lance J. Lochner & Petra E. Todd, 2008. "Earnings Functions and Rates of Return," University of Western Ontario, CIBC Centre for Human Capital and Productivity Working Papers 20082, University of Western Ontario, CIBC Centre for Human Capital and Productivity.
  30. Daniel Aaronson & Daniel Sullivan, 2002. "Growth in worker quality," Chicago Fed Letter, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, issue Feb.
  31. Heckman, James J. & LaFontaine, Paul A., 2007. "The American High School Graduation Rate: Trends and Levels," IZA Discussion Papers 3216, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  32. James J. Heckman & Paul A. LaFontaine, 2006. "Bias-Corrected Estimates of GED Returns," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 24(3), pages 661-700, July.
  33. Jonathan Gruber, 2000. "Risky Behavior Among Youths: An Economic Analysis," NBER Working Papers 7781, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  34. Gordon B. Dahl & Lance Lochner, 2005. "The Impact of Family Income on Child Achievement," NBER Working Papers 11279, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  35. John H. Tyler & Jeffrey R. Kling, 2004. "Prison-Based Education And Re-Entry Into The Mainstream Labor Market," Working Papers 2004-10, Brown University, Department of Economics.
  36. Cameron, Stephen V & Heckman, James J, 1993. "The Nonequivalence of High School Equivalents," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 11(1), pages 1-47, January.
  37. Stephen V. Cameron & James J. Heckman, 2001. "The Dynamics of Educational Attainment for Black, Hispanic, and White Males," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 109(3), pages 455-499, June.
  38. 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.
  39. Heckman, James J, 1995. "Lessons from the Bell Curve," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 103(5), pages 1091-1120, October.
  40. Grossman, Michael, 2000. "The human capital model," Handbook of Health Economics, in: A. J. Culyer & J. P. Newhouse (ed.), Handbook of Health Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 7, pages 347-408 Elsevier.
  41. Hunt, Jennifer, 2006. "Do Teen Births Keep American Crime High?," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 49(2), pages 533-66, October.
  42. 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).
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