Early Childhood Education

83 Pages Posted: 30 Nov 2015

See all articles by Sneha Elango

Sneha Elango

University of Chicago

Jorge Luis García

Clemson University - John E. Walker Department of Economics; University of Southern California - Schaeffer Center for Health Policy and Economics; Duke University - Social Science Research Institute

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)

Andrés Hojman

University of Chicago

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: November 2015

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 beneficial and whether they are cost-effective for certain populations. 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.

Suggested Citation

Elango, Sneha and Garcia, Jorge Luis and Heckman, James J. and Hojman, Andrés, Early Childhood Education (November 2015). NBER Working Paper No. w21766. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2696852

Sneha Elango (Contact Author)

University of Chicago ( email )

1101 East 58th Street
Chicago, IL 60637
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Jorge Luis Garcia

Clemson University - John E. Walker Department of Economics ( email )

Clemson, SC 29634
United States

University of Southern California - Schaeffer Center for Health Policy and Economics ( email )

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Duke University - Social Science Research Institute ( email )

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James J. Heckman

University of Chicago - Department of Economics ( email )

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National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

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American Bar Foundation

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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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Andrés Hojman

University of Chicago ( email )

1101 East 58th Street
Chicago, IL 60637
United States

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