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Quantifying the Life-Cycle Benefits of a Prototypical Early Childhood Program

Jorge Luis Garcia (), James Heckman, Duncan Ermini Leaf () and María José Prados ()
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Duncan Ermini Leaf: University of Southern California

No 10811, IZA Discussion Papers from Institute of Labor Economics (IZA)

Abstract: This paper quantifies the experimentally evaluated life-cycle benefits of a widely implemented early childhood program targeting disadvantaged families. We join experimental data with non-experimental data using economic models to forecast its life-cycle benefits. Our baseline estimate of the internal rate of return (benefit/cost ratio) is 13.7% (7.3). We conduct extensive sensitivity analyses to account for model estimation error, forecasting error, and judgments made about the empirical magnitudes of non-market benefits. We examine the performance of widely used, ad hoc estimates of long-term benefit/cost ratios based on short-term measures of childhood test scores and find them wanting.

Keywords: childcare; rates of return; long-term forecasts; life-cycle benefits; early childhood education (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-for and nep-ure
Date: 2017-05
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