A few weeks ago, we published a short blog on the critical importance of early childhood development. A recent paper by James Heckman and Gabriella Conti explores the economics of child well-being that:
presents an integrated economic approach that organizes and interprets the evidence on child development.
It also discusses the indicators of child well-being that are used in International comparisons.
Recent evidence on child development is summarized, and policies to promote child well-being are discussed.
The chapter concludes with some open questions and suggestions for future research
The bottom line:
From a purely economic standpoint, the highest return to a unit dollar invested is at the beginning of the lifecycle since it builds the base that makes later returns possible.
One final suggestion. If you are really interested in early childhood development issues, you should visit frequently the IDB´s Early Steps Blog