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The First 2,000 Days and Child Skills: Evidence from a Randomized Experiment of Home Visiting

Listed author(s):
  • Orla Doyle

    (School of Economics and Geary Institute for Public Policy,University College Dublin)

Using a randomized experiment, this study investigates the impact of sustained investment in parenting, from pregnancy until age five, in the context of extensive welfare provision. Providing the Preparing for Life program, incorporating home visiting, group parenting, and baby massage, to disadvantaged Irish families raises children’s cognitive and socio-emotional/behavioral scores by two-thirds and one-quarter of a standard deviation respectively by school entry. There are few differential effects by gender and stronger gains for firstborns. The results also suggest that socioeconomic gaps in children’s skills are narrowed. Analyses account for small sample size, differential attrition, multiple testing, contamination, and performance bias.

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File URL: http://www.ucd.ie/geary/static/publications/workingpapers/gearywp201706.pdf
File Function: First version, 2017
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Paper provided by Geary Institute, University College Dublin in its series Working Papers with number 201706.

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Length: 90 pages
Date of creation: 11 Jul 2017
Handle: RePEc:ucd:wpaper:201706
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  1. James Heckman & Seong Hyeok Moon & Rodrigo Pinto & Peter Savelyev & Adam Yavitz, 2010. "Analyzing social experiments as implemented: A reexamination of the evidence from the HighScope Perry Preschool Program," Quantitative Economics, Econometric Society, vol. 1(1), pages 1-46, 07.
  2. Doyle, Orla & Fitzpatrick, Nick & Lovett, Judy & Rawdon, Caroline, 2015. "Early intervention and child physical health: Evidence from a Dublin-based randomized controlled trial," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 19(C), pages 224-245.
  3. repec:mpr:mprres:7447 is not listed on IDEAS
  4. 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.
  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. James Heckman & Seong Hyeok Moon & Rodrigo Pinto & Peter Savelyev & Adam Yavitz, 2010. "Analyzing social experiments as implemented: evidence from the HighScope Perry Preschool Program," CeMMAP working papers CWP22/10, Centre for Microdata Methods and Practice, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  7. Cunha, Flavio & Heckman, James J. & Lochner, Lance, 2006. "Interpreting the Evidence on Life Cycle Skill Formation," Handbook of the Economics of Education, Elsevier.
  8. Eble,Alex & Boone,Peter & Elbourne,Diana, 2016. "On minimizing the risk of bias in randomized controlled trials in economics," Policy Research Working Paper Series 7746, The World Bank.
  9. Duflo, Esther & Glennerster, Rachel & Kremer, Michael, 2008. "Using Randomization in Development Economics Research: A Toolkit," Handbook of Development Economics, Elsevier.
  10. Brenda Jones Harden & Rachel Chazan-Cohen & Helen Raikes & Cheri Vogel, 2012. "Early Head Start Home Visitation The Role of Implementation in Bolstering Program Benefits," Mathematica Policy Research Reports ea09b0017c024015aa7249185, Mathematica Policy Research.
  11. Mario Fiorini & Michael P. Keane, 2014. "How the Allocation of Children's Time Affects Cognitive and Noncognitive Development," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 32(4), pages 787-836.
  12. Doepke, Matthias & Zilibotti, Fabrizio, 2012. "Parenting with Style: Altruism and Paternalism in Intergenerational Preference Transmission," IZA Discussion Papers 7108, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  13. Petra E. Todd & Kenneth I. Wolpin, 2007. "The Production of Cognitive Achievement in Children: Home, School, and Racial Test Score Gaps," Journal of Human Capital, University of Chicago Press, vol. 1(1), pages 91-136.
  14. Doyle, O. & Harmon, C. & Heckman, J.J. & Logue, C,; & Moon, S.H., 2013. "Measuring Investment in Human Capital Formation: An Experimental Analysis of Early Life Outcomes," Health, Econometrics and Data Group (HEDG) Working Papers 13/18, HEDG, c/o Department of Economics, University of York.
  15. Orazio Attanasio & Sarah Cattan & Emla Fitzsimons & Costas Meghir & Marta Rubio Codina, 2015. "Estimating the production function for human capital: results from a randomized controlled trial in Colombia," IFS Working Papers W15/06, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  16. Bryan Keller, 2012. "Detecting Treatment Effects with Small Samples: The Power of Some Tests Under the Randomization Model," Psychometrika, Springer;The Psychometric Society, vol. 77(2), pages 324-338, April.
  17. Sandner, Malte & Jungmann, Tanja, 2016. "How much can we trust maternal ratings of early child development in disadvantaged samples?," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 141(C), pages 73-76.
  18. 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 (3rd Edition), pages 257-298 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  19. Attanasio, Orazio & Cattan, Sarah & Fitzsimons, Emla & Meghir, Costas & Rubio-Codina, Marta, 2015. "Estimating the Production Function for Human Capital: Results from a Randomized Control Trial in Colombia," IZA Discussion Papers 8856, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  20. Doyle, Orla & Harmon, Colm P. & Heckman, James J. & Tremblay, Richard E., 2009. "Investing in early human development: Timing and economic efficiency," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 7(1), pages 1-6, March.
  21. Behrman, Jere R & Pollak, Robert A & Taubman, Paul, 1982. "Parental Preferences and Provision for Progeny," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 90(1), pages 52-73, February.
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  23. Joseph P. Romano & Michael Wolf, 2005. "Exact and Approximate Stepdown Methods for Multiple Hypothesis Testing," Journal of the American Statistical Association, American Statistical Association, vol. 100, pages 94-108, March.
  24. Orla Doyle & Nick Fitzpatrick & Judy Lovett & Caroline Rawdon, 2015. "Early intervention and child health: Evidence from a Dublin-based randomized controlled trial," Working Papers 201511, School of Economics, University College Dublin.
  25. 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.
  26. Martins, Lurdes & Veiga, Paula, 2010. "Do inequalities in parents' education play an important role in PISA students' mathematics achievement test score disparities?," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 29(6), pages 1016-1033, December.
  27. repec:eee:labeco:v:45:y:2017:i:c:p:59-78 is not listed on IDEAS
  28. Freedman, David & Lane, David, 1983. "A Nonstochastic Interpretation of Reported Significance Levels," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 1(4), pages 292-298, October.
  29. Peter Burton & Shelley Phipps & Lori Curtis, 2002. "All in the Family: A Simultaneous Model of Parenting Style and Child Conduct," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(2), pages 368-372, May.
  30. Anderson, Michael L., 2008. "Multiple Inference and Gender Differences in the Effects of Early Intervention: A Reevaluation of the Abecedarian, Perry Preschool, and Early Training Projects," Journal of the American Statistical Association, American Statistical Association, vol. 103(484), pages 1481-1495.
  31. Martin Dooley & Jennifer Stewart, 2007. "Family income, parenting styles and child behavioural-emotional outcomes," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 16(2), pages 145-162.
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