Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Toward Standardization of Benefit-Cost Analyses of Early Childhood Interventions

Contents:

Author Info

  • Lynn A. Karoly
Registered author(s):

    Abstract

    A growing body of benefit-cost analyses (BCAs) of early childhood programs has been prompted by the increased demand for results-based accountability when allocating public and private sector resources. While the BCAs of early childhood programs serve to make such investments more compelling, there are limitations in the current state of the art, including a lack of standardization in the BCA methods used, from discount rates to shadow prices. The objective of this paper is to delineate a set of standards for conducting BCAs of early childhood programs. The paper reviews the existing evidence of the economic returns from early childhood programs that serve children and families in the first five years of life, discusses the challenges that arise in applying the BCA methodology such programs, highlights the variation in current methods used, and proposes a set of standards for applying the BCA methodology to early childhood programs. The recommendations concern issues such as the discount rate to use and the age to which costs and benefits should be discounted; stakeholder disaggregation; outcomes to value, the associated values, and projections of future outcomes; accounting for uncertainty; sensitivity analysis; and reporting of results. The proposed standards can guide the choices that analysts need to make about the methods to use when performing BCAs for one or more early childhood programs and they can support greater transparency in the results the analysts provide. The standards can also support consumers of the BCA results in their need to understand the methods employed and the comparability across different studies.

    Download Info

    If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
    File URL: http://www.rand.org/content/dam/rand/pubs/working_papers/2011/RAND_WR823.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by RAND Corporation Publications Department in its series Working Papers with number 823.

    as in new window
    Length: 51 pages
    Date of creation: Dec 2010
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:ran:wpaper:823

    Contact details of provider:
    Postal: 1776 Main Street, P.O. Box 2138, Santa Monica, California 90407-2138
    Phone: 310-393-0411
    Fax: 310-393-4818
    Email:
    Web page: http://www.rand.org/pubs/
    More information through EDIRC

    Related research

    Keywords:

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    References

    No references listed on IDEAS
    You can help add them by filling out this form.

    Citations

    Lists

    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ran:wpaper:823. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Benson Wong).

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.