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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: Department of Economics, University of Chicago
Adam Yavitz: Economic Research Center, University of Chicago

No 200936, Working Papers from Geary Institute, University College Dublin

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: rate of return; cost-benefit analysis; standard errors; Perry Preschool Program; compromised randomization; early childhood intervention programs; deadweight costs (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-ltv
Date: 2009-11-13
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http://www.ucd.ie/geary/static/publications/workingpapers/gearywp200936.pdf First version, 2009 (application/pdf)

Related works:
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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