What is the Added Value of Preschool for Poor Children? Long-Term and Intergenerational Impacts and Interactions with an Infant Health Intervention
We study the impact of preschool targeted at children from low-income families over the life cycle and across generations, and examine its interaction with an infant health intervention. Using Danish administrative data with variation in the timing of program implementation over 1933-1960, we find lasting benefits of access to preschool on adult educational attainment, earnings, and survival beyond age 65. We also show that children of women exposed to preschool obtain more education by age 25. However, exposure to nurse home visiting in infancy reduces the added value of preschool. This result implies that the programs serve as partial substitutes.
This paper was previously circulated under the title "Are Different Early Investments Complements or Substitutes? Long-Run and Intergenerational Evidence from Denmark". We thank Hoyt Bleakley, Gabriella Conti, Rasmus Landersø, Shelly Lundberg, Michael Mueller-Smith, Diane Schanzenbach, Jeffrey Smith, and seminar participants at UC Santa Barbara, the University of Iowa, the University of Michigan, the University of Copenhagen, the University of Southern Denmark, Lund University, Santa Clara University, Stanford University, Statistics Norway, the University of Virginia, USC CESR, the “Early Childhood Inequality Workshop” (Nuremberg), the NBER Summer Institute, the All- California Labor Economics Conference, the ASSA meetings, and the NBER Cohort Studies meeting for helpful comments. We are grateful to Peder Dam and the “DigDag” project for invaluable help with the data on Denmark’s historical administrative structure. Ida Lykke Kristiansen provided excellent research assistance. The Danish Data Archive provided the data from the “Statistical Commune Data Archive.” We gratefully acknowledge financial support from the Danish Council for Independent Research (grant # 4003-00007). The views expressed herein are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Bureau of Economic Research.
Maya Rossin-Slater & Miriam Wüst, 2020. "What is the Added Value of Preschool for Poor Children? Long-Term and Intergenerational Impacts and Interactions with an Infant Health Intervention," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, vol 12(3), pages 255-286.