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Intergenerational and Intragenerational Externalities of the Perry Preschool Project

This paper examines the impact of the iconic Perry Preschool Project on the children and siblings of the original participants. The children of treated participants have fewer school suspensions, higher levels of education and employment, and lower levels of participation in crime, compared with the children of untreated participants. Impacts are especially pronounced for the children of male participants. These treatment effects are associated with improved childhood home environments. The intergenerational effects arise despite the fact that families of treated subjects live in similar or worse neighborhoods than the control families. We also find substantial positive effects of the Perry program on the siblings of participants who did not directly participate in the program, especially for male siblings.

The appendix to this paper may be found here.

James J. Heckman, The University of Chicago
Ganesh Karapakula, Center for the Economics of Human Development, University of Chicago
Publication Date: 
May, 2019
Publication Status: 
Document Number: 
File Description: 
Third Version, May 21, 2019