Early Childhood Education

83 Pages Posted: 16 Nov 2015

See all articles by Sneha Elango

Sneha Elango

University of Chicago

Jorge Luis García

affiliation not provided to SSRN

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)

Andres Hojman

University of Chicago

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Abstract

This paper organizes and synthesizes the literature on early childhood education and childcare. In it, we go beyond meta-analysis and reanalyze primary data sources in a common framework. We consider the evidence from means-tested demonstration programs, large-scale means-tested programs and universal programs without means testing. We discuss which programs are effective and whether, and for which populations, these programs should be subsidized by governments. The evidence from high-quality demonstration programs targeted toward disadvantaged children shows beneficial effects. Returns exceed costs, even accounting for the deadweight loss of collecting taxes. When proper policy counterfactuals are constructed, Head Start has beneficial effects on disadvantaged children compared to home alternatives. Universal programs benefit disadvantaged children.

Keywords: early childhood education, childcare, evaluation of social programs

JEL Classification: J13, I28, C93

Suggested Citation

Elango, Sneha and Garcia, Jorge Luis and Heckman, James J. and Hojman, Andres, Early Childhood Education. IZA Discussion Paper No. 9476. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2690725

Sneha Elango (Contact Author)

University of Chicago ( email )

1101 East 58th Street
Chicago, IL 60637
United States

Jorge Luis Garcia

affiliation not provided to SSRN

James J. Heckman

University of Chicago - Department of Economics ( email )

1126 East 59th Street
Chicago, IL 60637
United States
773-702-0634 (Phone)
773-702-8490 (Fax)

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

American Bar Foundation

750 N. Lake Shore Drive
Chicago, IL 60611
United States

Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA)

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Poschinger Str. 5
Munich, DE-81679
Germany

Andres Hojman

University of Chicago ( email )

1101 East 58th Street
Chicago, IL 60637
United States

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