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The effects of early childhood intervention on child development and early skill formation. Evidence from a randomized experiment

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  • Sandner, Malte

Abstract

This paper presents results from a randomized evaluation of a home visiting program for disadvantaged first time mothers and their families implemented in three German federal states. At the end of the first year of the program, children in home visited families perform significantly better than those in the control families by 0.18 standard deviations in the Mental Developmental Index. Examination of gender differences revealed that home visited girls scored 0.30 standard deviations higher than girls in the control families, whereas boys scored similar in both groups. Results indicate no differences in the scores of the Psychomotor Developmental Index and the birth outcomes, despite 0.28 standard deviations higher birth weight for boys in the home visited families compared to boys in the control families. We find evidence for skill self productivity but in different magnitude for boys and girls. Furthermore, we analyze possible monetary returns of the program.

Suggested Citation

  • Sandner, Malte, 2012. "The effects of early childhood intervention on child development and early skill formation. Evidence from a randomized experiment," VfS Annual Conference 2012 (Goettingen): New Approaches and Challenges for the Labor Market of the 21st Century 62036, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:vfsc12:62036
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Douglas Almond & Kenneth Y. Chay & David S. Lee, 2005. "The Costs of Low Birth Weight," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 120(3), pages 1031-1083.
    2. James Heckman & Flavio Cunha, 2007. "The Technology of Skill Formation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(2), pages 31-47, May.
    3. Coneus, Katja & Laucht, Manfred & Reuß, Karsten, 2012. "The role of parental investments for cognitive and noncognitive skill formation—Evidence for the first 11 years of life," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 10(2), pages 189-209.
    4. Dorothea Blomeyer & Katja Coneus & Manfred Laucht & Friedhelm Pfeiffer, 2009. "Initial Risk Matrix, Home Resources, Ability Development, and Children's Achievement," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 7(2-3), pages 638-648, 04-05.
    5. Flavio Cunha & James J. Heckman, 2008. "Formulating, Identifying and Estimating the Technology of Cognitive and Noncognitive Skill Formation," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 43(4).
    6. Jere R. Behrman & Mark R. Rosenzweig, 2004. "Returns to Birthweight," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 86(2), pages 586-601, May.
    7. 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.
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
    • J12 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Marriage; Marital Dissolution; Family Structure
    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education

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