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

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  • Orla Doyle

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Orla Doyle, 2017. "The First 2,000 Days and Child Skills: Evidence from a Randomized Experiment of Home Visiting," Working Papers 201715, School of Economics, University College Dublin.
  • Handle: RePEc:ucn:wpaper:201715
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10197/8732
    File Function: First version, 2017
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
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    Cited by:

    1. James J. Heckman & Margaret L. Holland & Kevin K. Makino & Rodrigo Pinto & Maria Rosales-Rueda, 2017. "An Analysis of the Memphis Nurse-Family Partnership Program," NBER Working Papers 23610, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Early childhood intervention; Cognitive skills; Socio-emotional and behavioral skills; Randomized control trial; Multiple hypothesis testing; Permutation testing; Inverse probability weighting;

    JEL classification:

    • C93 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Field Experiments
    • D13 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Household Production and Intrahouse Allocation
    • I26 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Returns to Education
    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth

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