Public Pre-K Expansion in the Presence of Alternative Childcare Options
Jordan Berne

About the research

Award

NAEd/Spencer Dissertation Fellowship

Award Year

2024

Institution

University of Michigan

Primary Discipline

Economics
Jordy Berne is a PhD student in economics at the University of Michigan and an Institute of Education Sciences predoctoral fellow. His research interests include early childhood development, economic mobility, and the economics of education. Jordy’s dissertation estimates the effects of novel public prekindergarten programs around the U.S. on short-run outcomes like elementary school test scores and long-run outcomes like educational attainment and receipt of social program benefits. Before beginning his graduate studies, Jordy earned a BBA in economics from the University of Georgia and worked as an analyst for three years at the U.S. Congressional Budget Office (CBO). Jordy is an avid UGA football fan and loves to travel with friends and family.
About Jordan Berne
A large body of research has established that prekindergarten (pre-K) tends to improve children’s readiness for kindergarten. However, many open questions remain regarding pre-K’s long-run effects, the specific ingredients that make pre-K programs more effective, and the interaction between public pre-K and other early childhood programs. Jordy’s dissertation explores these topics using a variety of methods and settings across the country. In one paper, Jordy estimates the long-run impacts of universal pre-K (UPK) in Georgia—the oldest statewide UPK program in the country. In a second paper, Jordy and coauthors estimate the short-run effects of Michigan’s Transitional Kindergarten (TK) program. TK is an emerging early childhood program that bridges elements of pre-K and traditional kindergarten. In a third paper, Jordy explores public pre-K expansion—historically and prospectively—from a national perspective. Taken together, Jordy’s dissertation provides new evidence on a range of policy-relevant questions regarding public pre-K.

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