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Investing in Kids

Early Childhood Programs and Local Economic Development

Timothy J. Bartik

Publication Year: 2011

Bartik shows that investing in high-quality early childhood programs produces long-term local economic development benefits.

Published by: W.E. Upjohn Institute

Front Matter

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pp. ix-xv

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pp. xvii

I appreciate the financial support of the Upjohn Institute and the Pew Charitable Trusts for the research for and writing of this book. In addition, I appreciate the financial support of the Upjohn Institute and the Pew Charitable Trusts, along with that of the Committee for Economic Development, for the research that led up to this book. The findings...

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1. Introduction

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pp. 1-11

This book presents arguments for the following propositions: Local1 economic development strategies in the United States should include extensive investments in high-quality early childhood programs, such as prekindergarten (pre-K) education,2 child care, and parenting assistance. Economic development policies...

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2. The Nature and Importance of Local Economic Development Benefits, and How They Are Affected by Labor Demand and Labor Supply

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pp. 13-52

What is local economic development in the United States? Should we care about local economic development? Why? What are local economic development’s benefits? Which of these benefits is most important? What public policies best provide these benefits? By addressing these questions, this chapter provides...

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3. Estimated Economic Development Effects of Well-Designed Business Incentive Programs

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pp. 53-76

For each dollar invested in this well-designed business incentive program, the present value of per-capita earnings of the original state residents will increase by $3.14. As explained in the previous chapter, this increase in state per-capita earnings is this book’s definition of economic development benefits. The...

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4. The Economic Development Effects of High-Quality Early Childhood Programs

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pp. 77-112

The previous chapter estimated how a state’s economic development is affected by business incentives. This chapter estimates how a state’s economic development is affected by early childhood programs. These economic development benefits are effects on the earnings per capita of state residents. Early...

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5. Design Matters: What Features of Business Incentive Programs and Early Childhood Programs Affect Their Economic Development Benefits?

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pp. 113-158

The preceding chapters have argued that business incentive programs and early childhood programs can provide large economic development benefits, if these programs are high-quality programs. But what constitutes quality in these programs? What program designs are most...

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6. Dealing with the Known Unknowns: How Policymakers Should Deal with Dueling Estimates from Researchers

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pp. 159-173

Thus far, this book’s analysis of business incentives and early childhood education has ignored that these benefits are uncertain. Business incentive programs are estimated to increase the present value of state residents’ earnings per dollar spent by $3.14. Early childhood programs are estimated to increase...

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7. Bringing the Future into the Present: How Policymakers Should Deal with the Delayed Benefits of Early Childhood Programs

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pp. 175-217

As discussed in Chapter 4, early childhood programs and business incentives differ in their benefits’ timing. Business incentives deliver sizable economic development benefits almost immediately. Jobs are attracted, and this immediately increases employment rates and upgrades many state residents to better jobs. In...

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8. Who Benefits? Distributional Effects of Early Childhood Programs and Business Incentives, and Their Implications for Policy

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pp. 219-266

First, effects on different income groups may change these programs’ social benefits. In this discussion, I assume that programs that tilt benefits toward the poor are more socially desirable. Policymakers, policy analysts, and voters may favor such a tilt because of special concern for the poor. Alternatively, policymakers...

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9. Locality Matters: How Economic Development Benefits Vary in Diverse Local Economies

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pp. 267-282

In this book, up until now, the analysis has focused on economic development benefits for a typical state. For example, consider my statement that high-quality universal pre-K education produces $2.78 in economic development benefits per dollar of costs. That statement is true for an “average U.S. state.” In an...

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10. The National Perspective: How Local Business Incentives and Early Childhood Programs Affect the National Economy

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pp. 283-314

Thus far, this book has adopted the perspective of a state or local policymaker. This perspective focuses on what a state or local area’s business incentives or early childhood programs can do for that state or local area. Any benefits or costs of this state’s policies for other states are irrelevant...

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11. The Ethics of Early Childhood Programs and Business Incentives

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pp. 315-332

But early childhood education and business incentives can also be discussed from a philosophical perspective. Do these programs violate or promote any ethical principles? Do these programs violate any principles about the appropriate role of government? An ethical perspective would also include a consideration...

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12. Extending Economic Development Analysis to Other Human Development Programs: Education, Public Health, Crime Reduction

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pp. 333-352

Early childhood programs are just one type of human development program. The economic development analysis that I have applied to early childhood programs can be applied to other programs than enhance human capital. Any program that increases the quantity or quality of human capital will stimulate earnings...

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13. Thinking and Acting Locally: What Potential Is There for Local Support for High-Quality Early Childhood Programs?

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pp. 353-362

While working on this book, I have also been involved in efforts to implement universal pre-K education in my home community, Kalamazoo, Michigan. A local interfaith community organizing group, ISAAC, adopted early childhood education as an issue. (ISAAC is affiliated with the Gamaliel Foundation...


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pp. 363-387

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The Author

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pp. 389

Timothy J. Bartik is a senior economist at the W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research. His research focuses on state and local economic development and local labor markets, including research in the following areas: evaluating economic development programs, the effects of taxes and public services on economic development...


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pp. 391-415

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About the Institute

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pp. 417

The W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research is a nonprofit research organization devoted to finding and promoting solutions to employment-related problems at the national, state, and local levels. It is an activity of the W.E. Upjohn Unemployment Trustee Corporation, which was established in 1932 to administer a fund set aside...

E-ISBN-13: 9780880994002
E-ISBN-10: 0880994002
Print-ISBN-13: 9780880993722
Print-ISBN-10: 0880993723

Page Count: 417
Publication Year: 2011

Edition: First

Research Areas


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Subject Headings

  • Economic development -- United States.
  • Early childhood education -- United States.
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