Prioritizing Educational Investments in Children in the Developing World

by David K. Evans, Arkadipta Ghosh

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The authors bring together 40 randomized and non-randomized evaluations of education programs to compare cost-effectiveness, seeking to facilitate prioritization of different candidate interventions by policymakers. They examine cost-effectiveness across three outcomes (enrollment, attendance, and test scores) and find distinct “best interventions” for each outcome. For increasing enrollment, urban fellowships, school consolidation, and extra teachers have proven most cost effective. For school attendance, school-based deworming stands out as most cost effective. And for improving test scores, several interventions seem similarly cost effective, including providing blackboards, workbooks, training teachers, and others. They discuss some of the challenges inherent to comparing interventions.

This paper series was made possible by the NIA funded RAND Center for the Study of Aging and the NICHD funded RAND Population Research Center.

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