The Life-Cycle Benefits of an Influential Early Childhood Program
74 Pages Posted: 14 Dec 2016 Last revised: 28 Dec 2016
Date Written: December 19, 2016
This paper estimates the long-term benefits from an influential early childhood program targeting disadvantaged families. The program was evaluated by random assignment and followed participants through their mid-30s. It has substantial beneficial impacts on health, children’s future labor incomes, crime, education, and mothers’ labor in- comes, with greater monetized benefits for males. Lifetime returns are estimated by pooling multiple data sets using testable economic models. The overall rate of return is 13.7% per annum, and the benefit/cost ratio is 7.3. These estimates are robust to numerous sensitivity analyses.
Keywords: Childcare, Early Childhood Education, Gender Differences in Responses to Programs, Health, Long-Term Predictions, Quality of Life, Randomized Trials, Substitution Bias
JEL Classification: J13, I28, C93
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation