Category Archives: Distribution of benefits

The importance of neighborhoods for child development

On Monday, May 4, the New York Times gave prominent coverage to two recent papers that provide strong evidence that better neighborhoods or local areas for young children make a large difference in increasing future adult earnings and income for … Continue reading

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Economic diversity in pre-K, peer effects, and universal versus targeted programs

A recent report by Jeanne Reid and Sharon Lynn Kagan of Columbia University, written for The Century Foundation, argues for greater consideration of economic diversity as a feature that helps determine quality in pre-K programs. The report documents that low-income … Continue reading

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Review of Robert Putnam’s new book, “Our Kids”: strong on vivid individual stories illustrating the problems; weaker on showing solutions

Robert Putnam’s new book, “Our Kids”, does an excellent job of telling individual stories of the American poor, and in particular recounting how their lives are affected by their experiences in childhood and adolescence.  (Robert Putnam is a political science … Continue reading

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Head Start impacts: the importance of the counterfactual

Two recent research papers, by Kline and Walters, and by Feller et al., suggest that Head Start has much larger impacts when it is compared to the alternative of “no preschool”. This finding tends to increase the likelihood that Head … Continue reading

Posted in Distribution of benefits, Early childhood program design issues, Local variation in benefits

Fiscal benefits: pre-K pays for itself in the long-run

As I discuss in my new book, From Preschool to Prosperity, pre-K and other early childhood programs provide important “fiscal benefits”. By “fiscal benefits”, I mean increases in tax revenue or reductions in needed spending, even at the same tax … Continue reading

Posted in Distribution of benefits, Timing of benefits

Peer effects in K-12 education are important spillover benefits of early childhood education

One reason why all families benefit from publicly-funded preschool, including families who don’t enroll their children in public preschool, is the increased educational achievement due to peer effects in K-12 schools.  As discussed in my new book, From Preschool to … Continue reading

Posted in Distribution of benefits

Pre-K benefits both the poor and the middle class, but child care and parenting programs’ benefits are more targeted

In my new book, From Preschool to Prosperity, I review the research evidence on whether the benefits of early childhood programs go beyond children from low-income families to include middle-class children. This research evidence suggests that preschool at age 4 … Continue reading

Posted in Distribution of benefits