nep-lam New Economics Papers
on Central and South America
Issue of 2022‒12‒12
two papers chosen by
Maximo Rossi
Universidad de la República

  1. Middle-run Impacts of Comprehensive Early Childhood Interventions: Evidence from a Pioneer Program in Chile By Britta Rude
  2. Public Childcare, Labor Market Outcomes of Caregivers, and Child Development: Experimental Evidence from Brazil By Attanasio, Orazio; de Barros, Ricardo Paes; Carneiro, Pedro; Evans, David K.; Lima, Lycia; Olinto, Pedro; Schady, Norbert

  1. By: Britta Rude
    Abstract: This paper analyzes the impact of comprehensive and universal early childhood development programs on outcomes in middle childhood. I exploit the birth eligibility cutoff of a pioneer intervention of this type in Chile and use administrative data on grade point averages, standardized test scores, and an extensive early childhood development survey. Program exposure raises standardized math scores by 1.8 percent of a standard deviation, standardized reading scores by 4.0 percent of a standard deviation and grade point averages by 0.03 percent of a standard deviation. However, the effect is less pronounced for girls and socioeconomically vulnerable children. Impacts on several other child development outcomes also differ by gender and socioeconomic status. A cost-benefit analysis suggests that targeted programs might be more cost-effective than comprehensive programs.
    Keywords: Education and inequality, government policy, children, human capital
    JEL: I24 I28 I38 J13 J24 O15
    Date: 2022
  2. By: Attanasio, Orazio (Yale University); de Barros, Ricardo Paes (Insper, São Paulo); Carneiro, Pedro (University College London); Evans, David K. (Center for Global Development); Lima, Lycia (Sao Paulo School of Economics); Olinto, Pedro (World Bank); Schady, Norbert (World Bank)
    Abstract: This study examines the impact of publicly provided daycare for children aged 0-3 on outcomes of children and their caregivers over the course of seven years after enrollment into daycare. At the end of 2007, the city of Rio de Janeiro in Brazil used a lottery to assign children to limited public daycare openings. Winning the lottery translated to a 34 percent increase in time in daycare during a child's first four years of life. This allowed caregivers more time to work, resulting in higher incomes for beneciary households in the first year of daycare attendance and 4 years later (but not after 7 years, by which time all children were eligible for universal schooling). The rise in labor force participation is driven primarily by grandparents and by adolescent siblings residing in the same household as (and possibly caring for) the child, and not by parents, most of whom were already working. Beneciary children saw sustained gains in height-for-age and weight-for-age, due to better nutritional intake at school and at home. Gains in beneciary children's cognitive development were observed 4 years after enrolment but not later.
    Keywords: early child development, childcare, Brazil
    JEL: I21 I28 J22 O15
    Date: 2022–11

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