Inequality & Social Policy Seminar: Parag Pathak


Monday, January 31, 2022, 12:00pm to 1:15pm

The Long-Term Effects of Universal Preschool in Boston

Parag Pathak, Professor of Economics, MIT

Abstract: We use admissions lotteries to estimate the effects of large-scale public preschool in Boston on college-going, college preparation, standardized test scores, and behavioral outcomes. Preschool enrollment boosts college attendance, as well as SAT test-taking and high school graduation. Preschool also decreases several disciplinary measures including juvenile incarceration, but has no detectable impact on state achievement test scores. An analysis of subgroups shows that effects on college enrollment, SAT-taking, and disciplinary outcomes are larger for boys than for girls. Our findings illustrate possibilities for large-scale modern, public preschool and highlight the importance of measuring long-term and non-test score outcomes in evaluating the effectiveness of education programs.

Parag Pathak is
the Class of 1922 Professor of Economics at MIT, foundĀ­ing co-director of the NBER Working Group on Market Design, and founder of MIT's Blueprint Labs (formerly the School Effectiveness and Inequality Initiative), a research laboratory based in the MIT Economics department which uses tools fromĀ market design and research design to produce rigorous evidence that can help decision-makers design and implement social policy. In 2018, the American Economic Association awarded him the John Bates Clark Medal as the best American economist under age 40. Pathak's research has been supported by research grants from the National Science Foundation, the Institute for Education Sciences, the WT Grant Foundation, the Laura and John Arnold Foundation, the Walton Foundation, the Boston Foundation, and the Lincoln Institute for Land Policy. He has served as an Associate Editor at the American Economic Review, Journal of Political Economy, and Econometrica.

Due to HKS Covid guidance, this seminar will take place virtually.