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Targeting Investments in Children

Fighting Poverty When Resources Are Limited

A substantial number of American children experience poverty: about 17 percent of those under the age of eighteen meet the government’s definition, and the proportion is even greater within minority groups. Childhood poverty can have lifelong effects, resulting in poor educational, labor market, and physical and mental health outcomes for adults. These problems have long been recognized, and there are numerous programs designed to alleviate or even eliminate poverty; as these programs compete for scarce resources, it is important to develop a clear view of their impact as tools for poverty alleviation.

Targeting Investments in Children
tackles the problem of evaluating these programs by examining them using a common metric: their impact on earnings in adulthood. The volume’s contributors explore a variety of issues, such as the effect of interventions targeted at children of different ages, and study a range of programs, including child care, after-school care, and drug prevention. The results will be invaluable to educational leaders and researchers as well as policy makers.

408 pages | 19 line drawings, 38 tables | 6 x 9 | © 2010

National Bureau of Economic Research Conference Report

Economics and Business: Economics--General Theory and Principles

Table of Contents



I. Prologue     


Phillip B. Levine and David J. Zimmerman

1.  Issues in Implementation

Phillip B. Levine and David J. Zimmerman


II. Early Childhood Interventions

2.  Child Development

Greg J. Duncan, Jens Ludwig and Katherine A. Magnuson

3. Child Care

Patricia M. Anderson

4.  Child Health

Lara Shore-Sheppard

III. Middle Childhood Interventions

5.  After School Care

Phillip B. Levine and David J. Zimmerman

6.  Educational Reforms

Susanna Loeb and Patrick J. McEwan

IV. Adolescent Interventions

7.  Drug Prevention 

Beau Kilmer and Rosalie Liccardo Pacula

8.  Teen Pregnancy Prevention

Melissa Schettini Kearney

9.  Dropout Prevention and College Prep

Bridget Terry Long

10.  College Aid

David Deming and Susan Dynarski

11.  Neighborhood and Community Initiatives

Julia Burdick-Will and Jens Ludwig

12.  Vocational Training

Robert LaLonde and Daniel Sullivan

V. Epilogue

13.  Synthesizing the Results

Phillip B. Levine and David J. Zimmerman

14.  Conclusions

Phillip B. Levine and David J. Zimmerman

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