Why Late Investments Can Work
DOI link for Why Late Investments Can Work
Why Late Investments Can Work book
James Heckman has done an extraordinary service by bringing psychological research on early interventions to the attention of a broad audience. His review of the scientific evidence is compelling and makes the case that parental training and educational enrichment in the early years have critical and lasting effects on children. Heckman introduces the idea of the equity-efficiency tradeoff: although the latter programs are equitable, the return on investment is low and they are thus not economically efficient. The success of the adolescent interventions derives from their laser-like focus on particular non-cognitive factors and the beliefs that underlie them—knowledge stemming from psychological theory. For early interventions to become feasible on a large scale, we need to make them more efficient—we need to isolate their critical components and focus on them. Early interventions are of tremendous importance for the future of our society, but so are focused, psychologically potent interventions with older children and adolescents.