Labor Market Returns to Early Childhood Stimulation: A 20-Year Followup to an Experimental Intervention in Jamaica
63 Pages Posted: 20 Apr 2016
Date Written: July 1, 2013
This paper finds large effects on the earnings of participants from a randomized intervention that gave psychosocial stimulation to stunted Jamaican toddlers living in poverty. The intervention consisted of one-hour weekly visits from community Jamaican health workers over a 2-year period that taught parenting skills and encouraged mothers to interact and play with their children in ways that would develop their children's cognitive and personality skills. The authors re-interviewed the study participants 20 years after the intervention. Stimulation increased the average earnings of participants by 42 percent. Treatment group earnings caught up to the earnings of a matched non-stunted comparison group. These findings show that psychosocial stimulation early in childhood in disadvantaged settings can have substantial effects on labor market outcomes and reduce later life inequality.
Keywords: Labor Markets, Educational Sciences, Health Monitoring & Evaluation, Primary Education, Disease Control & Prevention
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