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Articles written by NIEER and published by outside organizations

Journal Articles

State Prekindergarten Effects on Early Learning at Kindergarten Entry: An Analysis of Eight State Programs


March 27, 2018
W. Steven Barnett, Ph.D.

State-funded prekindergarten programs are increasingly common across the country. This study published online in AERA Open estimated the effects of eight state-funded pre-K programs in Arkansas, California, Michigan, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oklahoma, South Carolina and West Virginia on children’s learning using a regression discontinuity design. These programs vary with respect in the population served, program design,…

Cost-effectiveness analysis for state and local decision making: An application to half-day and full-day preschool special education programs.


February 22, 2018

By Barnett, W. S. (1987) The following article presents the results of a cost-effectiveness analysis in which half-day and full-day intervention programs for handicapped preschoolers were compared. The research sample consisted of 39 matched pairs of handicapped 4-year-olds in nine half- and nine full-day classrooms. Program effectiveness was evaluated using cognitive and expressive language scores from…

The economics of preschool special education under Public Law 99-457.


February 22, 2018

By Barnett, W. S. (1988). State policy makers face important choices in responding to P.L. 99–157 that will greatly affect the future course of preschool special education and have important educational and economic implications. This paper reviews the current situation in preschool special education: who is served, how they are served, and what it costs. It…

A contingent valuation approach to measuring the benefits of preschool education.


February 22, 2018

By Escobar, C. M., Barnett, W. S., & Keith, J. E. (1988). It is difficult to quantify and value many of the benefits of education. This paper illustrates the use of contingent valuation to obtain more complete estimates of the economic value of difficult-to-measure benefits of preschool education for handicapped children and presents a general approach…

The economics of early intervention for handicapped children: What do we really know?


February 22, 2018

By Barnett, W. S., & Escobar, C. M. (1988). From an economic perspective, early intervention is an investment that can be evaluated in terms of its costs and the benefits it yields through improvements in the quality of children’s lives and indirect returns to the community, such as reduced special education costs. In this article, the…

Economic analysis as a tool for early intervention research.


February 22, 2018

By Barnett, W. S. (1988). Although economic analysis is complicated and has limitations, it is a workable method capable of producing a great deal of information about the value of early interventions. Procedures for conducting a cost analysis, cost-benefit analysis, or cost-effectiveness analysis are outlined, along with a review of the approach’s advantages and limitations.

Parent and clinic early intervention for children with language handicaps: A cost-effectiveness analysis.


February 22, 2018

By Barnett, W. S., Escobar, C. M., & Ravsten, M. T. (1988). This study investigated the economic efficiency of alternative types of intervention with language-impaired preschool children. Forty children were randomly assigned to one of four groups: (a) home-based (parent-delivered) intervention, (b) center-based intervention, (c) both center- and home-based intervention, and (d) no treatment. The home…

Research on the cost effectiveness of early educational intervention: Implications for research and policy.


February 22, 2018

By Barnett, W. S. & Escobar, C. M. (1989). In the last decade, the “cost effectiveness” of early educational intervention has become a familiar argument for the expansion of such services to young children who are handicapped or living in poverty. Indeed, the claim is often broadened to support public provision of universal early childhood programs….

Developing preschool education policy: An economic perspective.


February 22, 2018

By Barnett, W. S. (1990). Federal, state, and local governments are currently considering significant changes in public policies related to preschool education. Much of the impetus for these changes derives from evidence of the costs and benefits of such programs, and many of the issues being addressed have significant economic dimensions. This article examines four critical…

Benefits of compensatory preschool education.


February 22, 2018

By Barnett, W. S. (1992). Although there is widespread agreement that compensatory preschool education can produce short-term gains in test scores, its ability to produce meaningful long-term improvements in educational and economic success has been questioned. This paper reviews the evidence regarding long-term effects, including a classical experiment and benefit-cost analysis. It is concluded that compensatory…