Are There Long-Term Benefits from Early Childhood Education in Low- and Middle-Income Countries?

43 Pages Posted: 13 Nov 2018

Date Written: August 1, 2018

Abstract

We examine the relationship between participation in early childhood education (ECE) and various long-term outcomes: post-ECE educational attainment, cognitive skills, socioemotional skills, and labor market outcomes. The data are from the recent Skills Toward Employability and Productivity surveys of urban adults in 12 low- and middle-income countries. Using OLS regression and propensity score matching techniques, we find suggestive evidence of long-term benefits across countries, as well as mixed evidence within countries. Notably, we find positive and statistically significant associations between ECE participation and post-ECE educational attainment (a mean of 0.9 additional years across countries). We find relatively fewer cases of positive associations between ECE and long-term socioemotional outcomes. The evidence on ECE and labor market outcomes is varied, with positive associations for skill-use but weak associations with earnings. Such mixed results suggest that improvements in the quality of ECE programs are necessary for realizing the full range of long-term benefits.

Keywords: early childhood education, comparative education, education policy, socio-emotional skills, cognitive skills

JEL Classification: I21, I24, I25, I26, I28, O15

Suggested Citation

Shafiq, M. Najeeb and Devercelli, Amanda and Valerio, Alexandria, Are There Long-Term Benefits from Early Childhood Education in Low- and Middle-Income Countries? (August 1, 2018). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3270603 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3270603

M. Najeeb Shafiq (Contact Author)

University of Pittsburgh ( email )

135 N Bellefield Ave
Pittsburgh, PA 15260
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.pitt.edu/~mnshafiq

Amanda Devercelli

The World Bank ( email )

1818 H St NW
Washington, DC 20433
United States

Alexandria Valerio

World Bank ( email )

1818 H Street, NW
Washington, DC 20433
United States

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