The economy, explained, with stories and surprises. Imagine you could call up a friend and say, "Meet me at the bar and tell me what's going on with the economy." Now imagine that's actually a fun evening. That's what we're going for at <em>Planet Money</em>. People seem to like it.
June 11th, 2011
Episode 381 of 911 episodes
Take a bunch of 3 year olds from poor families. Randomly divide them into two groups, and give one group free access to preschool. Then follow both groups for 40 years. This is what the researchers in the Perry Preschool Program did, starting in the early 1960s. The results were astonishing. Kids from the preschool group were less likely to be arrested and more likely to have a job. Among those with jobs, those who went to preschool made more money than those who did not. Other studies show similar results. On today's today's Planet Money, we talk with James Heckman, a University of Chicago economist. Based on the data from these studies, he argues that using public funds to pay for poor kids to go to preschool actually saves the government money in the long run.