Date / Time

2:00 pm 31/05/2019 -

3:00 pm 31/05/2019


Social Sciences Building (A02), Zoom Room 441


The University of Sydney, Camperdown NSW, Australia

The University of Sydney, Camperdown NSW, Australia


For further information contact:
Applied Economics Seminar Coordinator
Nathan Kettlewell | ph: 8627 5934 |email:


Using a randomized experiment, this study investigates the impact of sustained investment in parenting, from pregnancy until age five, in the context of extensive welfare provision. Providing the Preparing for Life program, incorporating home visiting, group parenting, and baby massage, to disadvantaged Irish families raises children’s cognitive and socio-emotional/behavioral scores by two-thirds and one-quarter of a standard deviation respectively.

There are few differential effects by gender and stronger gains for firstborns and lower resource households. The program also narrowed the socioeconomic gap in children’s skills. Analyses account for small sample size, differential attrition, multiple testing, contamination, and performance bias.


The core focus of my research is a micro analysis of human behaviour. My areas of expertise include the economics of human development, health economics, early child development and education, and methods for evaluating policy interventions. Over the last ten years I have developed, led, and consolidated a large research programme dedicated to evaluating the effectiveness of early childhood intervention programmes using experimental and quasi-experimental designs. I have a particular interest in developing and applying new statistical and methodology techniques to improve the internal and external validity of randomised controlled trials.