Jorge Luis Garcia
Frederik Bennhoff
Duncan Ermini Leaf
James J. Heckman

This paper monetizes the life-cycle intragenerational and intergenerational benefits of the Perry Preschool Project, a pioneering high-quality early childhood education program implemented before Head Start that targeted disadvantaged African-Americans and was evaluated by a randomized trial. It has the longest follow-up of any experimentally evaluated early childhood education program. We follow participants into late midlife as well as their children into adulthood. Impacts on the original participants and their children generate substantial benefits. Access to life-cycle data enables us to evaluate the accuracy of widely used schemes to forecast life-cycle benefits from early-life test scores, which we find wanting.

Publication Type
Working Paper
File Description
First version, June 30, 2021
JEL Codes
J13: Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
I28: Education: Government Policy
C93: Field Experiments
H43: Project Evaluation; Social Discount Rate
cost-benefit analysis
dynastic benefits
early childhood education
intergenerational program evaluation
life-cycle benefits