- Greg J. Duncan and Katherine Magnuson
- Fall/Winter (2014–2015) 2015
- Link to foc312a (PDF)
- Link to foc312sup (PDF)
Early childhood is an important, but contested, topic of research related to the production of human capital, and the only period of childhood and adolescence with relatively little public investment. Some scholars interpret the early childhood intervention evidence as showing promising opportunities for addressing inequities in human capital, and consequently argue for significant expansion of public investment. Other scholars come to more cautious or even negative conclusions, worrying particularly about the degree of risk and uncertainty in current evidence regarding longterm payoffs to early childhood investments. In this article, we review the evidence on the potential of early childhood investments, particularly center-based early childhood education, to reduce economic inequality.