Are you joking here New York Times? So what if it is James Heckman… the sample size is 37!

When the boys reached age 30, they earned an average of $19,800 more a year than those in the control group and had half a year more education. (The small sample size — 37 boys in the programs who stayed in the study — means the difference was not very precisely estimated.) When the girls reached 30, they had two more years of education and earned about $2,500 more, the study found.

OK this is probably a worthwhile and well-done study of the small sample.  And as the truism in economics says, “the smaller the sample the harder the methods.”  But writing an article as if this had really convinced someone of the second-generation effects of childcare?  And just based on this paragraph, why not tout a different result, “Heckman finds education useless for raising earnings of women!”

About mkevane

Economist at Santa Clara University and Director of Friends of African Village Libraries.
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