IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/ucd/wpaper/201034.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Analyzing Social Experiments as Implemented: A Reexamination of the Evidence From the HighScope Perry Preschool Program

Author

Listed:
  • James J. Heckman

    (University of Chicago, University College Dublin, Yale University and the American Bar Foundation)

  • Seong Hyeok Moon

    (Department of Economics, University of Chicago)

  • Rodrigo Pinto

    (Department of Economics, University of Chicago)

  • Peter A. Savelyev

    (Department of Economics, University of Chicago)

  • Adam Yavitz

    (Economic Research Center, University of Chicago)

Abstract

Social experiments are powerful sources of information about the effectiveness of interventions. In practice, initial randomization plans are almost always compromised. Multiple hypotheses are frequently tested. "Signi cant" effects are often reported with p-values that do not account for preliminary screening from a large candidate pool of possible effects. This paper develops tools for analyzing data from experiments as they are actually implemented. We apply these tools to analyze the influential HighScope Perry Preschool Program. The Perry program was a social experiment that provided preschool education and home visits to disadvantaged children during their preschool years. It was evaluated by the method of random assignment. Both treatments and controls have been followed from age 3 through age 40. Previous analyses of the Perry data assume that the planned randomization protocol was implemented. In fact, as in many social experiments, the intended randomization protocol was compromised. Accounting for compromised randomization, multiple-hypothesis testing, and small sample sizes, we find statistically significant and economically important program effects for both males and females. We also examine the representativeness of the Perry study.

Suggested Citation

  • James J. Heckman & Seong Hyeok Moon & Rodrigo Pinto & Peter A. Savelyev & Adam Yavitz, 2010. "Analyzing Social Experiments as Implemented: A Reexamination of the Evidence From the HighScope Perry Preschool Program," Working Papers 201034, Geary Institute, University College Dublin.
  • Handle: RePEc:ucd:wpaper:201034
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.ucd.ie/geary/static/publications/workingpapers/gearywp201034.pdf
    File Function: First version, 2010
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    More about this item

    Keywords

    early childhood intervention; compromised randomization; social experiment; multiple-hypothesis testing;

    JEL classification:

    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education
    • C93 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Field Experiments
    • J15 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Minorities, Races, Indigenous Peoples, and Immigrants; Non-labor Discrimination

    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:ucd:wpaper:201034. 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: (Geary Tech). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/geucdie.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.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using 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.