In his 2011 book Investing in Kids: Early Childhood Programs and Local Economic Development, Timothy Bartik walks through the outsize benefits of educating children early -- not just educational benefits to the kids themselves, but measureable economic development that, in some cases, can outweigh other kinds of business incentives. (Curious? Download several sample chapters.)
Based at the Upjohn Institute in Michigan, Bartik studies regional economies and local labor markets, asking questions about job-creation programs, business incentives and the way government policies (such as tax credits, right-to-work laws and environmental regulations) have on business growth. He's the co-editor of Economic Development Quarterly: The Journal of American Economic Revitalization.