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Nobel prize-winning economist to speak Wednesday in Louisville

Dr. James Heckman will discuss how investing in early education would boost economy

FRANKFORT, Ky. (Oct. 23, 2012) – Nobel Laureate and University of Chicago Professor of Economics Dr. James Heckman will speak Wednesday about the economic advantages of investing in early learning and childhood development at a luncheon in Louisville. The event is sponsored by the Governor’s Office of Early Childhood, the Prichard Committee for Academic Excellence and the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce.

Heckman’s groundbreaking work with a consortium of economists, developmental psychologists, sociologists, statisticians and neuroscientists has shown that the quality of early childhood development heavily influences health, economic and social outcomes for individuals and society.

Heckman’s presentation will discuss how investing in early childhood education to increase high school graduation rates would boost Kentucky’s economy.  For example, the Alliance for Excellent Education reports a 5 percent increase in male high school graduation rates is estimated to save $50 million in annual incarceration costs and crime-related expenditures. If that same 5 percent not only graduated but went to college, those average earnings would accrue an additional $37 million. If just one year’s dropouts could be converted to graduates, Kentucky would accrue an additional $4.3 billion over the lifetime of each graduating class.

The luncheon will begin at noon at the Downtown Louisville Marriott.

For more information, contact Elizabeth Whitehouse at 1-502-782-0197 or [email protected].