From the Ounce of Prevention Fund:
James J. Heckman, Ph.D., was awarded the Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences in 2000, and currently serves as the Henry Schultz Distinguished Service Professor of Economics at the University of Chicago. Interestingly, Dr. Heckman began his research by investigating the economic return of job retraining programs for steelworkers. He realized that those programs were largely ineffective because it was more difficult for the steelworkers to learn new skills at a later age and because there were fewer years to recoup the cost of retraining. Then he made a surprising change in his thinking.
“The real question is how to use the available funds wisely. The best evidence supports the policy prescription: Invest in the Very Young.”