The Lasting Effects of Early Childhood Education on Promoting the Skills and Social Mobility of Disadvantaged African Americans

36 Pages Posted: 19 Jul 2021

See all articles by Jorge Luis García

Jorge Luis García

Clemson University - John E. Walker Department of Economics; University of Southern California - Schaeffer Center for Health Policy and Economics

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)

Victor Ronda

Johns Hopkins University Department of Economics

Multiple version iconThere are 3 versions of this paper

Date Written: July 16, 2021

Abstract

This paper demonstrates multiple beneficial impacts of a program promoting inter-generational mobility for disadvantaged African-American children and their children. The program improves outcomes of the first-generation treatment group across the life cycle, which translates into better family environments for the second generation leading to positive intergenerational gains. There are long-lasting beneficial program effects on cognition through age 54, contradicting claims of fadeout that have dominated popular discussions of early childhood programs. Children of the first-generation treatment group have higher levels of education and employment, lower levels of criminal activity, and better health than children of the first-generation control group.

Keywords: early childhood education, intergenerational mobility, racial inequality, social mobility

JEL Classification: J13, I28, C93, H43

Suggested Citation

Garcia, Jorge Luis and Heckman, James J. and Ronda, Victor, The Lasting Effects of Early Childhood Education on Promoting the Skills and Social Mobility of Disadvantaged African Americans (July 16, 2021). University of Chicago, Becker Friedman Institute for Economics Working Paper No. 2021-83, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3888323 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3888323

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 )

635 Downey Way
Los Angeles, CA 90089-3333
United States

James J. Heckman (Contact Author)

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)

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American Bar Foundation

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Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA)

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Germany

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Poschinger Str. 5
Munich, DE-81679
Germany

Victor Ronda

Johns Hopkins University Department of Economics ( email )

3400 Charles Stree
Baltimore, MA 21218-2685
United States

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