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PAM447011 - Using data from the PSID Duncan et al examined...

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Using data from the PSID, Duncan et. al examined the impact of poverty occurring as early as the prenatal year on adult attainment, behavior, and health outcomes to as late as 37 years of age. They found that for some outcomes in adulthood, namely those related to achievement skills and cognitive development, poverty early in a child’s life may be especially harmful. A significant association was found between early childhood poverty and adult work hours and earnings in that those who experienced greater childhood poverty were found to work fewer hours in adulthood, which largely contributed to the second finding that these individuals more often earned less annual income as adults. Using income increments of previous policy changes to assess policy significance of their findings, Duncan et. al. determined that “…a $3,000 annual increase in income between a child’s prenatal year and fifth birthday is associated with 19% higher earnings and a 135- hr increase in work hours” (Duncan et. al. 322). Furthermore, this “19%” increase in earnings proved to be persistent across the 13-year timeframe that Duncan et. al. tracked their sample population as adults from ages 25 to 37.
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