Journal of Economic Perspectives: Vol. 7 No. 4 (Fall 1993)


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Children's Prospects and Children's Policy

Article Citation

Haveman, Robert, and Barbara Wolfe. 1993. "Children's Prospects and Children's Policy." Journal of Economic Perspectives, 7(4): 153-174.

DOI: 10.1257/jep.7.4.153


This paper offers some facts on trends in children's economic status in the United States as well as an economic perspective for thinking about public policy toward children. Throughout, we will attempt to make clear what is known and what is not known empirically about the relationships that are embodied in our perspective. We consider whether America is "underinvesting in children"; what type of investments in children would be best; to which children investments should be directed; and whether governments should provide the services directly or whether parents should be given the resources and incentives to better nurture their children. We examine the determinants of children's success and propose a course of action for investing in children.

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Haveman, Robert (U WI)
Wolfe, Barbara (U WI)

JEL Classifications

J13: Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
J18: Demographic Economics: Public Policy


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