Can Early Intervention Policies Improve Well-being? Evidence from a randomized controlled trial

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Title: Can Early Intervention Policies Improve Well-being? Evidence from a randomized controlled trial
Authors: Daly, Michael
Delaney, Liam
Doyle, Orla
Fitzpatrick, Nick
O'Farrelly, Christine
Permanent link: http://hdl.handle.net/10197/6049
Date: Oct-2014
Abstract: Many authors have proposed incorporating measures of well-being into evaluations of public policy. Yet few evaluations use experimental design or examine multiple aspects of wellbeing, thus the causal impact of public policies on well-being is largely unknown. In this paper we examine the effect of an intensive early intervention program on maternal wellbeing in a targeted disadvantaged community. Using a randomized controlled trial design we estimate and compare treatment effects on global well-being using measures of life satisfaction, experienced well-being using both the Day Reconstruction Method (DRM) and a measure of mood yesterday, and also a standardized measure of parenting stress. The intervention has no significant impact on negative measures of well-being, such as experienced negative affect as measured by the DRM and global measures of well-being such as life satisfaction or a global measure of parenting stress. Significant treatment effects are observed on experienced measures of positive affect using the DRM, and a measure of mood yesterday. The DRM treatment effects are primarily concentrated during times spent without the target child which may reflect the increased effort and burden associated with additional parental investment. Our findings suggest that a maternal-focused intervention may produce meaningful improvements in experienced well-being. Incorporating measures of experienced affect may thus alter cost-benefit calculations for public policies.
Type of material: Working Paper
Publisher: University College Dublin. School of Economics
Copyright (published version): 2014 the authors
Keywords: Well-Being;Randomised Controlled Trial;Early Intervention
Language: en
Status of Item: Not peer reviewed
Appears in Collections:Economics Working Papers & Policy Papers

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