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Uncovering Gender Differences in the Effects of Early Intervention: A Reevaluation of the Abecedarian, Perry Preschool, and Early Training Projects

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  • Michael Anderson

    (Massachusetts Institute of Technology Economics Department)

Abstract

The view that the returns to public educational investments are highest for early childhood interventions stems primarily from several influential randomized trials - Abecedarian, Perry, and the Early Training Project - that point to super-normal returns to preschool interventions. This paper presents a de novo analysis of these experiments, focusing on core issues that have received little attention in previous analyses: treatment effect heterogeneity, over-rejection of the null hypothesis due to multiple inference, and robustness of the findings to attrition and deviations from the experimental protocol. The primary finding of this reanalysis is that girls garnered substantial short- and long-term benefits from the interventions, particularly in the domain of total years of education. However, there were no significant long-term benefits for boys. These conclusions change little when allowance is made for attrition and possible violations of random assignment.

Suggested Citation

  • Michael Anderson, 2005. "Uncovering Gender Differences in the Effects of Early Intervention: A Reevaluation of the Abecedarian, Perry Preschool, and Early Training Projects," HEW 0509008, EconWPA, revised 26 Sep 2005.
  • Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwphe:0509008
    Note: Type of Document - pdf; pages: 44
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    File URL: http://econwpa.repec.org/eps/hew/papers/0509/0509008.pdf
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Sam Berlinksi & Sebastian Galiani & Marco Manacorda, 2007. "Giving Children a Better Start: Preschool Attendance & School-Age Profiles," William Davidson Institute Working Papers Series wp860, William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan.
    2. Justine S. Hastings & Thomas J. Kane & Douglas O. Staiger, 2006. "Gender and Performance: Evidence from School Assignment by Randomized Lottery," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(2), pages 232-236, May.
    3. Fitzpatrick Maria D, 2008. "Starting School at Four: The Effect of Universal Pre-Kindergarten on Children's Academic Achievement," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 8(1), pages 1-40, November.
    4. Marianne Bitler & Hilary W. Hoynes, 2006. "Welfare Reform and Indirect Impacts on Health," NBER Working Papers 12642, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Philip Oreopoulos & Daniel Lang & Joshua Angrist, 2009. "Incentives and Services for College Achievement: Evidence from a Randomized Trial," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 1(1), pages 136-163, January.
    6. Kevin Milligan & Mark Stabile, 2011. "Do Child Tax Benefits Affect the Well-Being of Children? Evidence from Canadian Child Benefit Expansions," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 3(3), pages 175-205, August.
    7. Berlinski, Samuel & Galiani, Sebastian & Manacorda, Marco, 2008. "Giving children a better start: Preschool attendance and school-age profiles," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(5-6), pages 1416-1440, June.
    8. Joshua Angrist & Daniel Lang & Philip Oreopoulos, 2006. "Lead Them to Water and Pay Them to Drink: An Experiment with Services and Incentives for College Achievement," NBER Working Papers 12790, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    preschool early intervention human capital education treatment effects;

    JEL classification:

    • I20 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - General
    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education
    • I29 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Other
    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth

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