Schools, Skills, and Synapses

95 Pages Posted: 5 Jun 2008  

James J. Heckman

University of Chicago - Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); American Bar Foundation; Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA); CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

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Abstract

This paper discusses (a) the role of cognitive and noncognitive ability in shaping adult outcomes, (b) the early emergence of differentials in abilities between children of advantaged families and children of disadvantaged families, (c) the role of families in creating these abilities, (d) adverse trends in American families, and (e) the effectiveness of early interventions in offsetting these trends. Practical issues in the design and implementation of early childhood programs are discussed.

Keywords: productivity, high school dropout, ability gaps, family influence, noncognitive skills, early interventions

JEL Classification: A12

Suggested Citation

Heckman, James J., Schools, Skills, and Synapses. , Vol. , pp. -, . Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1139905 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.0042-7092.2007.00700.x

James J. Heckman (Contact Author)

University of Chicago - Department of Economics ( email )

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Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA)

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CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

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