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Senne Vandevelde - Research Summary

Paris School of Economics

The (non)sense of Early Childhood Interventions: Evidence from Latin America

Conditional Cash Transfers (CCTs) have over the past 2 decades become an integral part of many of Latin American countries’ anti-poverty strategy. In spite of differences in the programs, all have focused the attention on stimulating young children through various interventions. The effectiveness of several of these CCT programs was asserted through randomized controlled trials (RCTs), some of them following children over more than a decade. As such, they provide the ideal setting to analyze some of the assumptions underlying the child development literature (introduced by, among others, Nobel Prize winner James Heckman), especially given the fact that not all early childhood interventions have been found to have lasting effects on the child’s cognitive and physical abilities. More specifically, the aim of this study is twofold: looking at data from five different Latin-American countries (Colombia, Peru, Mexico, Nicaragua and Ecuador), we want to find out which early-life outcomes are predictive of beneficial outcomes later in the life (predictive validity) and which early-life impacts (coming from components of the CCT) translate into positive impacts at later stages.