Duncan Ermini Leaf
Leonard D. Schaeffer Center for Health Policy
University of Southern California
635 Downey Way
Los Angeles, CA 90089
NBER Working Papers and Publications
|June 2017||Quantifying the Life-cycle Benefits of a Prototypical Early Childhood Program|
with Jorge Luis García, James J. Heckman, María José Prados: w23479
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.
|December 2016||The Life-cycle Benefits of an Influential Early Childhood Program|
with Jorge Luis García, James J. Heckman, María José Prados: 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.