Seong Moon

Department of Economics
The University of Chicago
1126 E. 59th Street
Chicago, IL 60637

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NBER Working Papers and Publications

August 2013Measuring Investment in Human Capital Formation: An Experimental Analysis of Early Life Outcomes
with Orla Doyle, Colm Harmon, James J. Heckman, Caitriona Logue: 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...
July 2010Analyzing Social Experiments as Implemented: A Reexamination of the Evidence From the HighScope Perry Preschool Program
with James J. Heckman, Rodrigo Pinto, Peter A. Savelyev, Adam Yavitz: w16238
Social experiments are powerful sources of information about the effectiveness of interventions. In practice, initial randomization plans are almost always compromised. Multiple hypotheses are frequently tested. "Significant" effects are often reported with p-values that do not account for preliminary screening from a large candidate pool of possible effects. This paper develops tools for analyzing data from experiments as they are actually implemented. We apply these tools to analyze the influential HighScope Perry Preschool Program. The Perry program was a social experiment that provided preschool education and home visits to disadvantaged children during their preschool years. It was evaluated by the method of random assignment. Both treatments and controls have been followed from age ...

Published: James Heckman & Seong Hyeok Moon & Rodrigo Pinto & Peter Savelyev & Adam Yavitz, 2010. "Analyzing social experiments as implemented: A reexamination of the evidence from the HighScope Perry Preschool Program," Quantitative Economics, Econometric Society, vol. 1(1), pages 1-46, 07. citation courtesy of

A New Cost-Benefit and Rate of Return Analysis for the Perry Preschool Program: A Summary
with James J. Heckman, Rodrigo Pinto, Peter Savelyev, Adam Yavitz: w16180
This paper summarizes our recent work on the rate of return and cost-benefit ratio of an influential early childhood program.

Published: “The Rate of the Return to the HighScope Perry Preschool Program,” (with S. H. Moon, R. Pinto, P. A. Savelyev, A. Yavitz). Journal of Public Economics , 94 : 114–128, (2010).

November 2009The Rate of Return to the High/Scope Perry Preschool Program
with James J. Heckman, Rodrigo Pinto, Peter A. Savelyev, Adam Yavitz: w15471
This paper estimates the rate of return to the High/Scope Perry Preschool Program, an early intervention program targeted toward disadvantaged African-American youth. Estimates of the rate of return to the Perry program are widely cited to support the claim of substantial economic benefits from preschool education programs. Previous studies of the rate of return to this program ignore the compromises that occurred in the randomization protocol. They do not report standard errors. The rates of return estimated in this paper account for these factors. We conduct an extensive analysis of sensitivity to alternative plausible assumptions. Estimated social rates of return generally fall between 7-10 percent, with most estimates substantially lower than those previously reported in the literature...

Published: Heckman, James J. & Moon, Seong Hyeok & Pinto, Rodrigo & Savelyev, Peter A. & Yavitz, Adam, 2010. "The rate of return to the HighScope Perry Preschool Program," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 94(1-2), pages 114-128, February. citation courtesy of

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