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

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

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.

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Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 6529.

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Date of creation: 01 Jul 2013
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Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:6529
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  17. Sharon L. Maccini & Dean Yang, 2008. "Under the Weather: Health, Schooling, and Economic Consequences of Early-Life Rainfall," NBER Working Papers 14031, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  19. John A. Maluccio & John Hoddinott & Jere R. Behrman & Reynaldo Martorell & Agnes R. Quisumbing & Aryeh D. Stein, 2009. "The Impact of Improving Nutrition During Early Childhood on Education among Guatemalan Adults," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 119(537), pages 734-763, 04.
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