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Labor market returns to early childhood stimulation : a 20-year followup to an experimental intervention in Jamaica

Author

Listed:
  • Chang-Lopez, Susan
  • Gertler,Paul J.
  • Grantham-Mcgregor,Sally
  • Heckman,James J.
  • Pinto,Rodrigo Ribeiro Antunes
  • Vermeersch,Christel M. J.
  • Walker, Susan
  • Zanolini, Arianna

Abstract

This paper finds large effects on the earnings of participants from a randomized intervention that gave psychosocial stimulation to stunted Jamaican toddlers living in poverty. The intervention consisted of one-hour weekly visits from community Jamaican health workers over a 2-year period that taught parenting skills and encouraged mothers to interact and play with their children in ways that would develop their children's cognitive and personality skills. The authors re-interviewed the study participants 20 years after the intervention. Stimulation increased the average earnings of participants by 42 percent. Treatment group earnings caught up to the earnings of a matched non-stunted comparison group. These findings show that psychosocial stimulation early in childhood in disadvantaged settings can have substantial effects on labor market outcomes and reduce later life inequality.

Suggested Citation

  • Chang-Lopez, Susan & Gertler,Paul J. & Grantham-Mcgregor,Sally & Heckman,James J. & Pinto,Rodrigo Ribeiro Antunes & Vermeersch,Christel M. J. & Walker, Susan & Zanolini, Arianna, 2013. "Labor market returns to early childhood stimulation : a 20-year followup to an experimental intervention in Jamaica," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6529, The World Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:6529
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Galiani, Sebastián & Gertler, Paul J. & Undurraga, Raimundo & Cooper, Ryan & Martínez, Sebastián & Ross, Adam, 2017. "Shelter from the storm: Upgrading housing infrastructure in Latin American slums," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 98(C), pages 187-213.
    2. Kronborg, Hanne & Sievertsen, Hans Henrik & Wüst, Miriam, 2016. "Care around birth, infant and mother health and maternal health investments – Evidence from a nurse strike," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 150(C), pages 201-211.
    3. Björn Nilsson, 2017. "The School-to-work transition in developing countries," Working Papers DT/2017/07, DIAL (Développement, Institutions et Mondialisation).
    4. Diego Daruich, 2018. "The Macroeconomic Consequences of Early Childhood Development Policies," Working Papers 2018-010, Human Capital and Economic Opportunity Working Group.
    5. Alderman, Harold & Walker, Susan P., 2014. "Improving resilience to nutritional shocks:," IFPRI book chapters,in: Fan, Shenggen & Pandya-Lorch, Rajul & Yosef, Sivan (ed.), 2013 Global Food Policy Report, chapter 12 International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    6. Tim Kautz & James J. Heckman & Ron Diris & Bas ter Weel & Lex Borghans, 2014. "Fostering and Measuring Skills: Improving Cognitive and Non-Cognitive Skills to Promote Lifetime Success," NBER Working Papers 20749, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. repec:eee:ecoedu:v:58:y:2017:i:c:p:55-67 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Clair Null & Clemencia Cosentino & Swetha Sridharan & Laura Meyer, "undated". "Policies and Programs to Improve Secondary Education in Developing Countries: A Review of the Evidence," Mathematica Policy Research Reports 516e420e637c4851b15e6a3f6, Mathematica Policy Research.
    9. Janssens, Wendy & Rosemberg, Cristina, 2014. "The impact of a Caribbean home-visiting child development program on cognitive skills," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 39(C), pages 22-37.
    10. Diego Daruich, 2017. "From Childhood to Adult Inequality: Parental Investments and Early Childhood Development," 2017 Meeting Papers 770, Society for Economic Dynamics.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Labor Markets; Educational Sciences; Health Monitoring&Evaluation; Primary Education; Disease Control&Prevention;

    JEL classification:

    • I10 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - General
    • I20 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - General
    • I25 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Education and Economic Development
    • J20 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - General
    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration

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