NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
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María José Prados

Dornsife Center for Economic
and Social Research
University of Southern California
635 Downey Way
Los Angeles, CA 90089

E-Mail: EmailAddress: hidden: you can email any NBER-related person as first underscore last at nber dot org
Institutional Affiliation: University of Southern California

NBER Working Papers and Publications

June 2017Quantifying the Life-cycle Benefits of a Prototypical Early Childhood Program
with Jorge Luis García, James J. Heckman, Duncan Ermini Leaf: w23479
This paper quantifies and aggregates the multiple lifetime benefits of an influential high-quality early childhood program with outcomes measured through midlife. Guided by economic theory, we supplement experimental data with non-experimental data to forecast the life-cycle benefits and costs of the program. Our point estimate of the internal rate of return is 13.7% with an associated benefit/cost ratio of 7.3. We account for model estimation and forecasting error and present estimates from extensive sensitivity analyses. This paper is a template for synthesizing experimental and non-experimental data using economic theory to estimate the long-run life-cycle benefits of social programs.
December 2016The Life-cycle Benefits of an Influential Early Childhood Program
with Jorge Luis García, James J. Heckman, Duncan Ermini Leaf: w22993
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 incomes, 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.
 
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