|Title||Quantifying the life-cycle benefits of a prototypical early childhood program|
|Year of Publication||2017|
|Authors||Garcia, JLuis, Heckman, JJ, Leaf, DErmini, Prados, MJosé|
|Series Title||NBER Working Paper Series|
|Document Number||Working Paper No. 23479|
|Institution||National Bureau of Economic Research|
|Keywords||Childhood adversity, Lifecycles|
This paper quantifies the experimentally evaluated life-cycle benefits of a widely implemented early childhood program targeting disadvantaged families. We join experimental data with non-experimental data using economic models to forecast its life-cycle benefits. Our baseline estimate of the internal rate of return (benefit/cost ratio) is 13.7% (7.3). We conduct extensive sensitivity analyses to account for model estimation error, forecasting error, and judgments made about the empirical magnitudes of non-market benefits. We examine the performance of widely used, ad hoc estimates of long-term benefit/cost ratios based on short-term measures of childhood test scores and find them wanting.