Jorge Luis García, James Heckman, Duncan Ermini Leaf, María Prados, 25 August 2017

The costs and benefits of early childcare for working women and their children are hotly debated. This column explores the long-term benefits and costs of a programme in the US providing high-quality childcare services for disadvantaged families. The programme has a two-generation impact, improving mothers’ labour income, work experience, and education, as well as outcomes for the children. The results also suggest that the benefits of high-quality compared to low-quality formal care are higher for boys than for girls. Overall, the benefits more than recoup the costs.


Topics will include improving quality of Early Childhood care in the home and child-care centres; scaling-up ECD programs; process of skill formation over the course of childhood; long-run effects of early childhood investments.

Confirmed speakers:
J. Lawrence Aber (NYU)
Mariana Alfonso, (IDB)
Maria Caridad Araujo (IDB)
Orazio Attanasio (UCL and IFS)
Jere R. Behrman (Pennsylvania)
Raquel Bernal (Universidad de los Andes)
Prashant Bharadwaj (UC San Diego)
Pedro Carneiro (UCL and cemmap)
Gabriella Conti (UCL and IFS)
Yyannú Cruz-Aguayo (IDB)
Flávio Cunha (Rice)
Janet Currie (Princeton)
Professor Sir Ian Diamond (Aberdeen)
Sally Grantham-McGregor (UCL)
Sonya Krutikova (EDePo at IFS)
Karen Macours (Paris School of Economics)
Costas Meghir (Yale and IFS)
Scott Rozelle (Stanford)
Marta Rubio-Codina (IDB and International Research fellow, IFS)
Norbert Schady (IDB)
Essi Viding (UCL)
Hirokazu Yoshikawa (Steinhardt NYU)
This event is free to attend.

Martin Koppensteiner, Marco Manacorda, 18 April 2016

Stress and violence during the nine months in utero has been widely shown to have important effects on child development. To date this research has largely focused on extreme and relatively rare events. This column uses data from Brazil to explore how exposure to day-to-day violence can affect birth weight. The birth weight of newborns whose mothers are exposed to a homicide during their first trimester is significantly lower. This effect is smaller for mothers who live in more violent neighbourhoods, consistent with the interpretation that violence is more stressful when it is rare. 

Pedro Carneiro, Costas Meghir, Matthias Parey, 22 November 2007

New research shows that raising the level of mothers’ education pays large intergenerational returns with kids benefiting, for example, from extra parental investment in their education. Policies that promote women’s education should take account of this in their design and evaluation.

Pedro Carneiro, Costas Meghir, Matthias Parey, 08 October 2007

In the last 50 years, there has been a striking increase in inequality in children’s home environments across families where mothers have different levels of education. Given that the tendency is rooted in the experience of each family, it is difficult for the welfare system to import change and direct interventions require the invasion of family autonomy and privacy. The authors of CEPR DP6505 assess an alternative potential policy, which targets future parents while still in their youth by affecting their education before they start forming a family.