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Quantifying the Life-cycle Benefits of an Influential Early Childhood Program

Jorge Luis Garcia (), James Heckman, Duncan Ermini Leaf () and María José Prados ()
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Duncan Ermini Leaf: Leonard D. Schaeffer Center for Health Policy and Economics

No 2016-035, Working Papers from Human Capital and Economic Opportunity Working Group

Abstract: This paper quantifies and aggregates the multiple lifetime benefits of an influential high-quality early childhood program with outcomes measured through midlife. Guided by economic theory, we supplement experimental data with non-experimental data to forecast the life-cycle benefits and costs of the program. Our point estimate of the internal rate of return is 13.7% with an associated benefit/cost ratio of 7.3. We account for model estimation and forecasting error and present estimates from extensive sensitivity analyses. This paper is a template for synthesizing experimental and non-experimental data using economic theory to estimate the long-run life-cycle benefits of social programs.

Keywords: childcare; early childhood education; gender differences; Health; long-term prediction; quality of life; randomized trials; substitution bias (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: J13 I28 C93 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-gen, nep-hea, nep-lab, nep-ltv and nep-ure
Date: 2016-12
Note: ECI
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Citations: View citations in EconPapers (8) Track citations by RSS feed

Downloads: (external link) ... cle-benefits-ecp.pdf First version, December 11, 2016 (application/pdf) ... -benefits-ecp_r1.pdf Revised version, December 19, 2016 (application/pdf) ... -benefits-ecp_r2.pdf Revised version, February 6, 2019 (application/pdf) ... enefits_appendix.pdf Appendix (application/pdf)

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