Earnings Benefits of Tulsa's Pre-K Program for Different Income Groups

Upjohn Institute Working Paper No. 11-176

56 Pages Posted: 5 Aug 2011

See all articles by Timothy Bartik

Timothy Bartik

W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research

William T. Gormley

Georgetown University - Public Policy Institute (GPPI)

Shirley Adelstein

Georgetown University

Date Written: July 15, 2011

Abstract

This paper estimates future adult earnings effects associated with a universal pre-K program in Tulsa, Oklahoma. These informed projections help to compensate for the lack of long-term data on universal pre-K programs, while using metrics that relate test scores to valued social benefits. Combining test-score data from the fall of 2006 and recent findings by Chetty et al. (forthcoming) on the relationship between kindergarten test scores and adult earnings, we generate plausible projections of adult earnings effects and a partial cost-benefit analysis of the Tulsa pre-K program. We find substantial projected earnings benefits for program participants who differ by income and by program dosage. The dollar effects and benefit-cost ratios are similar across groups, with benefit-to-cost ratios of approximately 3 or 4 to 1. Because we only consider adult earnings benefits, actual benefit-cost ratios are likely higher, especially for disadvantaged children.

Keywords: Pre-K, Preschool

JEL Classification: I210, J240, I240

Suggested Citation

Bartik, Timothy and Gormley, William T. and Adelstein, Shirley, Earnings Benefits of Tulsa's Pre-K Program for Different Income Groups (July 15, 2011). Upjohn Institute Working Paper No. 11-176, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1905442 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1905442

Timothy Bartik (Contact Author)

W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research ( email )

300 South Westnedge Avenue
Kalamazoo, MI 49007-4686
United States

William T. Gormley

Georgetown University - Public Policy Institute (GPPI) ( email )

3600 N Street, NW Suite 200
Washington, DC 20057
United States

Shirley Adelstein

Georgetown University ( email )

Washington, DC 20057
United States

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