The Effect of Early Childhood Education on Social Preferences
A new accepted paper by Alexander Cappelen, John List, Anya Samek and Bertil Tungodden in the Journal of Political Economy, titled "The Effect of Early Childhood Education on Social Preferences"
We present results from the first study to examine the causal impact of early childhood education on the social preferences of children. We compare children who, at 3-4 years old, were randomized into either a full-time preschool, a parenting program, or a control group. We returned to the children when they reached 6-8 years of age and conducted a series of incentivized experiments to elicit their social preferences. We find that early childhood education has a strong causal impact on social preferences. Our findings highlight the importance of taking a broad perspective when designing and evaluating early childhood educational programs.