Department of Economics

Early low-cost investments in infant health causes large educational gains and social services savings, Hastings and coauthors find

An NBER working paper released by Brown Professor Justine Hastings and co-authors Eric Chyn and Samantha Gold was covered by Vox Media last week.

Using administrative data from Rhode Island, the authors find that spending a few thousand on health investments at birth for Very Low Birth Weight infants substantially increases test scores in grades 3-8, increases college enrollment, and saves tens of thousands in social program expenditures by age 14.

Listen to Vox’s The Weeds podcast discussion of the results in their May 7 episode.

Read the paper

Read a policy brief.