Irma Arteaga

  • Research Interests

  • Early Childhood Policy
  • Program Evaluation


Dr. Arteaga is the Director of Graduate Studies for the Doctoral Program at the Truman School of Public Affairs, University of Missouri. She earned a Masters in Public Policy and a Ph.D. in Applied Economics, University of Minnesota. She received the Jernberg Fellowship, the Mary and Robert Litterman Fellowship and the Graduate School Fellowship to support her studies.  Her research seeks to understand the consequences of early childhood investments over the life course. As such, she conducts policy-relevant research that sits at the boundaries of economics, developmental psychology, early childhood, education, public health, and public policy. Specifically, Dr. Arteaga examines the role of contextual factors and program dosage, intensity, and components on children’s well-being. Her research agenda has three dominant themes: (1) analysis of the short-term effects of early childhood interventions and program delivery on children’s well-being, (2) analysis of the long-term effects of child policy on children’s well-being, and (3) analysis of early childhood investments in the developing world.

Dr. Arteaga has extensive experience and expertise on program evaluations including longitudinal evaluations and dosage effects of early childhood programs (e.g., Chicago Child-Parent Center, Missouri Head Start Programs, Mississippi Building Blocks). Dr. Arteaga has conducted and published research using secondary datasets and state administrative data, and has also collected her own data through surveys and test administration. Dr. Arteaga uses rigorous quantitative evaluation techniques; she teaches research methods at the doctoral-level and has developed expertise in measuring the consequences of participation in various social interventions that affect children and families with children. Her research has focused on the evaluation of social programs designed to reduce poverty, children malnutrition, and gender and ethnic gaps on food insecurity, health and achievement.  Dr. Arteaga has given advice to the governments of Guatemala and Panama on the design of health programs that aimed to reduce maternal and infant mortality for rural and indigenous population. She is currently studying the dynamic effect of food insecurity as well as the mechanisms through which early childhood interventions reduce food insecurity. She has used the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study and other datasets to evaluate the effects of NSLP, WIC and CACFP on food insecurity among households with kindergartener children, and has specifically examined how these programs affects food insecurity during children’s transition into the school system. Her work has been published in various journals including Science, Economics of Education Review, and Children and Youth Services Review.


  • PhD from University of Minnesota

Selected Publications

  • One Year of Preschool or Two: Does It Matter for Adult Outcomes? Results from the Chicago Longitudinal Study of the Child-Parent Centers
    Arteaga, Irma, S. Humpage, A. Reynolds and J. Temple

    Economics of Education Review 40 (2014): 221–237.

  • Do Community Factors Matter? An analysis of the Achievement Gap Between Indigenous and Non-indigenous Children in Peru
    Arteaga, Irma and Paul Glewwe

    International Journal of Educational Development (Forthcoming, available online).

  • Design Flaws: Consequences of the Coverage Gap in Food Programs on Children at Kindergarten Entry
    Arteaga, Irma, Colleen Heflin and Sarah Parsons

    Applied Economic Perspectives and Policy (In press).

  • The Impact of Aging Out of WIC on Food Security in Households with Children
    Irma Arteaga, Colleen Heflin and Sarah Gable

    Children and Youth Services Review, 69: 82-96, 2016

  • More publications from: Irma Arteaga