Early Childhood Investments Substantially Boost Adult Health View Academic Paper

This 2014 Science article features an analysis of the health benefits derived from the North Carolina Abecedarian project in North Carolina, a birth-to-five early childhood education program that included early health, nutrition, and learning. Heckman and co-authors from the Frank Porter Graham Institute at the University of North Carolina find that comprehensive early childhood education boosts…

Understanding the Mechanisms through Which an Influential Early Childhood Program Boosted Adult Outcomes View Academic Paper

Published in October 2013, research from Professor Heckman, Rodrigo Pinto (University of Chicago) and Peter Savelyev (Vanderbilt University) revealed that non-cognitive skill development, not IQ enhancement, is the primary factor underlying the success of high-quality early childhood education. A summary of the research findings and their implications can be found here.

The Case for Investing in Disadvantaged Young Children View Academic Paper

In this 10-page excerpt from “Big Ideas for Children: Investing in Our Nation’s Future,” Professor Heckman discusses his early findings on the need for early childhood education and the economic benefits of providing it. Written while Heckman and his team were still analyzing the economic returns from the Perry Preschool project, it provides the foundation…

Schools, Skills, Synapses View Academic Paper

This is Professor Heckman’s well-known analysis of the Perry Preschool program, its economic benefits and the value of investing in quality early childhood development. The study finds that every dollar invested in quality early childhood education for disadvantaged children provides a return of 7-10% per child, per annum. This paper discusses (a) the role of…