Preschool's 'Sleeper' Effect on Later Life

Does preschool help children become more successful adults? Twenty-five years ago, I thought that there wouldn’t be a straightforward answer to this question—development is just too complicated and hard to study. I was completely wrong. A clever and compelling study by the economists Guthrie Gray-Lobe, Parag Pathak and Christopher Walters has just appeared as a National Bureau of Economic Research working paper, and the answer is clearly “yes.” But the results also raise fascinating questions about how early experience influences later life.

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