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The Rate of Return to the High/Scope Perry Preschool Program

James Heckman, Seong Hyeok Moon (), Rodrigo Pinto, Peter Savelyev () and Adam Yavitz ()
Additional contact information
Seong Hyeok Moon: University of Chicago
Adam Yavitz: University of Chicago

No 4533, IZA Discussion Papers from Institute of Labor Economics (IZA)

Abstract: This paper estimates the rate of return to the High/Scope Perry Preschool Program, an early intervention program targeted toward disadvantaged African-American youth. Estimates of the rate of return to the Perry program are widely cited to support the claim of substantial economic benefits from preschool education programs. Previous studies of the rate of return to this program ignore the compromises that occurred in the randomization protocol. They do not report standard errors. The rates of return estimated in this paper account for these factors. We conduct an extensive analysis of sensitivity to alternative plausible assumptions. Estimated social rates of return generally fall between 7-10 percent, with most estimates substantially lower than those previously reported in the literature. However, returns are generally statistically significantly different from zero for both males and females and are above the historical return on equity. Estimated benefit-to-cost ratios support this conclusion.

Keywords: deadweight costs; cost-benefit analysis; standard errors; Perry Preschool Program; compromised randomization; rate of return; early childhood intervention programs (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D62 I22 I28 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-edu and nep-ltv
Date: 2009-10
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Published in: Journal of Public Economics, 2010, 94 (1-2), 114-128

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Journal Article: The rate of return to the HighScope Perry Preschool Program (2010) Downloads
Working Paper: The Rate of Return to the High/Scope Perry Preschool Program (2009) Downloads
Working Paper: The Rate of Return to the High/Scope Perry Preschool Program (2009) Downloads
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