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The effects of two influential early childhood interventions on health and healthy behaviour

Authors: Gabriella Conti , James Heckman and Rodrigo Pinto
Date: 01 October 2016
Type: Journal article, The Economic Journal, Vol. 126, No. Feature, pp. F28–F65
DOI: 10.1111/ecoj.12420


This article examines the long-term impacts on health and healthy behaviour of two of the oldest and most widely cited US early childhood interventions evaluated by the method of randomisation with long-term follow-up: the Perry Preschool Project (PPP) and the Carolina Abecedarian Project (ABC). There are pronounced gender effects strongly favouring boys, although there are also effects for girls. Dynamic mediation analyses show a significant role played by improved childhood traits, above and beyond the effects of experimentally enhanced adult socioeconomic status. These results show the potential of early life interventions for promoting health.

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