Dana Goldman

Distinguished Professor; Director
University of Southern California; Schaeffer Center for Health Policy and Economics

Dana Goldman is the Leonard D. Schaeffer Chair and a Distinguished Professor of Pharmacy, Public Policy, and Economics at the University of Southern California. He also directs the Schaeffer Center for Health Policy and Economics, one of the nation’s premier health policy and management programs (ranked #3 by US News & World Report). Dr. Goldman is the author of over 200 articles and book chapters, and is a health policy advisor to the Congressional Budget Office, the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Institute, Covered California, and several health care companies. He is an elected member of the National Academy of Medicine and the recipient of several prominent awards, including the Eugene Garfield Economic Impact Prize; the MetLife Foundation’s Silver Scholar Award; the National Institute for Health Care Management Award; and the Alice Hersh New Investigator Award. He received his BA from Cornell University and a PhD in economics from Stanford University.


High-quality, early childhood education (ECE) boosts early-life skills in disadvantaged individuals. These skills translate into better outcomes later in life, in areas like employment, education, income, and criminal activity. But ECE is also costly, and as such, it is important to have a complete picture of the social returns throughout life. In particular, it is not known whether ECE can improve health over the course of a lifetime.


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ABC/CARE was a comprehensive, birth through age five early childhood development program that included early health, nutrition, parental education and early childhood education. Complementing their recent cost-benefit analysis of the ABC/CARE program, Dr. James Heckman and his team look at the differences in outcomes based on gender in their paper, Gender Differences in the Benefits of an Influential Early Childhood Program.

The research team found that high-quality early childhood education programs had the potential to deliver a 13.7% per child, per year return on investment through better outcomes in health, education, and employment. The economic return of the two programs was substantially higher than had been previously found for preschool programs serving 3- to 4-year-olds, which have previously estimated only a 7-10% return on investment.