Yann Algan, Elizabeth Beasley, Sylvana Cote, Jungwee Park, Richard E. Tremblay and Frank Vitaro


A childhood intervention to improve the social skills and self-control of at-risk kindergarten boys in the 1980s had positive impacts over the life course: higher trust and self-control as adolescents; increased social group membership, education, and reduced criminality as young adults; and increased marriage and employment as adults.

Using administrative data, we find this intervention increased average yearly employment income by about 20 percent and decreased average yearly social transfers by almost 40 percent. We estimate that $1 invested in this program around age 8 yields about $11 in benefits by age 39, with an internal rate of return of around 17 percent.