W. Steven

Profile: W. Steven Barnett

Board of Governors Professor


W. Steven Barnett is a Board of Governors Professor and Director of the National Institute for Early Education Research (NIEER) at Rutgers University. His research includes studies of the economics of early care and education including costs and benefits, the long-term effects of preschool programs on children's learning and development, and the distribution of educational opportunities. Dr. Barnett earned his Ph.D. in economics at the University of Michigan. He has authored or co-authored more than 180 publications. Research interests include the economics of human development and practical policies for translating research findings into effective public investments. His best known works include: reviews of the research on long-term effects; benefit-cost analyses of the Perry Preschool and Abecedarian programs; randomized trials comparing alternative approaches to educating children including length of day, monolingual versus dual-language immersion, the Tools of the Mind curriculum; and, the series of State Preschool Yearbooks providing annual state-by-state analyses of progress in public pre-K.

Recent & Selected Publications

NIEER State of Preschool Series. Available at http://nieer.org/publications/annual-state-pre-k-reports-state-preschool-yearbooks.

Pianta, R., Barnett, W. S., Justice, L., & Sheridan, S. (Eds.) (2012). Handbook of early childhood education. New York, NY: Guilford Publications.

Barnett, W. S. (2011). Four reasons the United States should offer every child a preschool education. In E. Zigler, W. Gilliam, & W. S. Barnett (Eds.), The pre-k debates: Current controversies and issues (pp. 34-39). Baltimore: Brookes Publishing.

Barnett, W. S. (2011). Effectiveness of early educational intervention. Science, 333, 975-978.

Haskins, R., & Barnett, W. S. (Eds.)(2010). Investing in young children: New directions in federal preschool and early childhood policy. Washington, DC: Center on Children and Families at Brookings and the National Institute for Early Education Research.

Barnett, W. S. (2010). Universal and targeted approaches to preschool education in the United States. International Journal of Child Care and Education Policy, 4(1), 1-12.

Camilli, G., Vargas, S., Ryan, S., & Barnett, W.S.  (2010). Meta-analysis of the effects of early education interventions on cognitive and social development. Teachers College Record, 112(3), 579-620.

Barnett, W. S. (2010). Universal and targeted approaches to preschool education in the United States. International Journal of Child Care and Education Policy, 4(1), 1-12.

Nores, M., & Barnett, W. S. (2010). Benefits of early childhood interventions across the world: (Under) Investing in the very young. Economics of Education Review, 29(2), 271-282.

Barnett, W. S., & Frede, E. C. (2010). The promise of preschool: Why we need early education for all. American Educator, 34(1), 21-40. 

Barnett, W. S. (2009). And a little child shall lead them—Economic recovery in 3 easy steps.  The Economists' Voice, 6 (3).

Barnett, W. S. (2009). Making public preschool education a sound investment.  Research Briefs from the NEA Visiting Scholar Series: Teacher Quality and Achievement Gaps, 2, 1-4.

Barnett, W. S., Jung, K., Yarosz, D. J., Thomas, J., Hornbeck, A., Stechuk, R., & Burns, S. (2008).  Educational effects of the Tools of the Mind curriculum:  A randomized trial. Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 23(3), 299-313.

Wong, V. C., Cook, T. D., Barnett, W.  S., & Jung, K. (2008).  An effectiveness-based evaluation of five state pre-kindergarten programs.  Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, 27(1), 122-154.

Barnett, W. S. (Summer, 2008).  Why governments should invest in early education.  CESifo- DICE report, Journal for Institutional Comparisons, Early Childhood Education and Care, 6(2), 9-14.

Barnett, W. S. (2008).  Preschool education and its lasting effects:  Research and policy implications. Boulder and Tempe:  Education and Public Interest Center & Education Policy Research Unit. http://epicpolicy.org/publication/preschool-education.

Barnett, W. S. (2007). Benefits and costs of quality early childhood education.  The Children’s Legal Rights Journal (CLRJ), 27, 7-23.

Diamond, A., Barnett, W. S., Thomas, J., & Munro, S. (2007).  Preschool program improves cognitive control.  Science, 318, 1387-1388.

Barnett, W. S., Yarosz, D. J., Thomas, J., & Blanco, D. (2007) Two-way and monolingual English immersion in preschool education: An experimental comparison. Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 22, 277-293.

Barnett, W. S., & Masse, L. N. (2007).  Early childhood program design and economic returns: Comparative benefit-cost analysis of the Abecedarian program and policy implications, Economics of Education Review, 26, 113-125.

Barnett, W. S. & Yarosz, D. J. (2007).  Who goes to preschool and why does it matter?  Revised. Preschool Policy Brief, Issue 15. New Brunswick, NJ: NIEER.

Belfield, C., Nores, M., Barnett, W. S., & Schweinhart, L. (2006). The High/Scope Perry Preschool Program: Cost- benefit analysis using data from the age 40. Journal of Human Resources, 16(1), 162-190.

Barnett, W. S., & Belfield, C. (2006).  Early childhood development and social mobility.  Future of Children, 16(2), 73-98.

Schweinhart, L. J., Montie, J., Xiang, Z., Barnett, W. S., Belfield, C. R., & Nores, M. (2005).  Lifetime effects:  The High/Scope Perry Preschool study through age 40 (Monographs of the High/Scope Educational Research Foundation, 14).  Ypsilanti, MI: High/Scope Educational Research Foundation.

National Research Council, Committee on Early Childhood Pedagogy (2000). Eager to learn.  Washington, DC: National Academy Press.

Barnett, W. S., & Boocock, S. S. (Eds.). (1998). Early care and education for children in poverty:  Promises, programs, and long-term results. Albany, NY: SUNY Press.

Barnett, W. S. (1996). Lives in the balance: Benefit-cost analysis of the Perry Preschool Program through age 27. Monographs of the High/Scope Educational Research Foundation. Ypsilanti, MI: High/Scope Press.

Barnett, W. S. (Ed.). (1994). Cost analysis for education decisions :  Methods and examples. Greenwich, CT: JAI Press. 


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