Perry Preschool Project

James Heckman

By Trilby Becker

James Heckman, Nobel Laureate and Professor of Economics at the University of Chicago, recently released a pair of companion papers on a pioneering 1960’s study of early childhood education and the long term life lifting impacts for participants and for their children. Graduates from the HighScope Perry Preschool Project in Ypsilanti, studied throughout their lives, are found to have substantially better outcomes in education, health, employment, and marriage than their peers who did not attend preschool. The papers build on work originally done by psychologist David Weikart, who designed and ran the HighScope Perry Preschool from 1962 through 1967.

These latest findings are outlined in two papers that Heckman co-authored with UChicago predoctoral fellow Ganesh Karapakula: The Perry Preschoolers at Late Midlife: A Study in Design-Specific Inference and Intergenerational and Intragenerational Externalities of the Perry Preschool Project.