NBER

Mai Lu

China Development Research Foundation
Floor 15, Tower A
Imperial International Center
No. 136, Andingmen Wai Avenue
Dongcheng District
Beijing, P.C. 100011
China

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Institutional Affiliation: China Development Research Foundation

NBER Working Papers and Publications

June 2020Treatment Effects and the Measurement of Skills in a Prototypical Home Visiting Program
with James J. Heckman, Bei Liu, Jin Zhou: w27356
This paper evaluates the causal impacts of an early childhood home visiting program for which treatment is randomly assigned. We estimate multivariate latent skill profiles for individual children and compare treatments and controls. We identify average treatment effects of skills on performance in a variety of tasks. The program substantially improves child language and cognitive, fine motor, and social-emotional skills development. Impacts are especially strong in the most disadvantaged communities. We go beyond reporting treatment effects as unweighted sums of item scores. Instead, we examine how the program affects the latent skills generating item scores and how the program affects the mapping between skills and item scores. We find that enhancements in latent skills explain at least ...

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