Upjohn Author ORCID Identifier


Publication Date



Upjohn Institute working paper ; 11-176

**Published Version**

In Economics of Education Review 31(6): 1143-1161




This paper estimates future adult earnings effects associated with a universal pre-K program in Tulsa, Oklahoma. These informed projections help to compensate for the lack of long-term data on universal pre-K programs, while using metrics that relate test scores to valued social benefits. Combining test-score data from the fall of 2006 and recent findings by Chetty et al. (forthcoming) on the relationship between kindergarten test scores and adult earnings, we generate plausible projections of adult earnings effects and a partial cost-benefit analysis of the Tulsa pre-K program. We find substantial projected earnings benefits for program participants who differ by income and by program dosage. The dollar effects and benefit-cost ratios are similar across groups, with benefit-to-cost ratios of approximately 3 or 4 to 1. Because we only consider adult earnings benefits, actual benefit-cost ratios are likely higher, especially for disadvantaged children.

Issue Date

July 15, 2011

Subject Areas

EDUCATION; Early childhood; Preschool and early education


Get in touch with the expert

Want to arrange to discuss this work with the author(s)? Contact our .



Bartik, Timothy J., William Gormley, and Shirley Adelstein. 2011. "Earnings Benefits of Tulsa's Pre-K Program for Different Income Groups." Upjohn Institute Working Paper 11-176. Kalamazoo, MI: W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research. https://doi.org/10.17848/wp11-176