NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Orla Doyle

University College Dublin
Geary Institute, School of Economics
University College Dublin
Belfield, Dublin 4
IRELAND

E-Mail: orla.doyle@ucd.ie

NBER Working Papers and Publications

August 2013Measuring Investment in Human Capital Formation: An Experimental Analysis of Early Life Outcomes
with Colm Harmon, James J. Heckman, Caitriona Logue, Seong Moon: w19316
The literature on skill formation and human capital development clearly demonstrates that early investment in children is an equitable and efficient policy with large returns in adulthood. Yet little is known about the mechanisms involved in producing these long-term effects. This paper presents early evidence on the nature of skill formation based on an experimentally designed, five-year home visiting program in Ireland targeting disadvantaged families - Preparing for Life (PFL). We examine the impact of investment between utero to 18 months of age on a range of parental and child outcomes. Using the methodology of Heckman et al. (2010a), permutation testing methods and a stepdown procedure are applied to account for the small sample size and the increased likelihood of false discoveries...
 
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