NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Schools, Skills, and Synapses

James J. Heckman

NBER Working Paper No. 14064
Issued in June 2008
NBER Program(s):   CH   ED   LS

This paper discusses (a) the role of cognitive and noncognitive ability in shaping adult outcomes, (b) the early emergence of differentials in abilities between children of advantaged families and children of disadvantaged families, (c) the role of families in creating these abilities, (d) adverse trends in American families, and (e) the effectiveness of early interventions in offsetting these trends. Practical issues in the design and implementation of early childhood programs are discussed.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w14064

Published: James J. Heckman, 2008. "Schools, Skills, And Synapses," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 46(3), pages 289-324, 07.

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