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A Short-Term Cost- Effectiveness Evaluation of Better-Quality Daycare Centers


  • Ricardo Barros
  • Mirela de Carvalho
  • Samuel Franco
  • Rosane Mendonca
  • Andrezza Rosalem


Studies of the effects of pre-school programs on child development in developing countries have found scant impact. This study was conducted to reconcile the importance of daycare for child development with the empirical estimates of small effects. Using a random sample of 500 children from 100 daycare centers in the Municipality of Rio de Janeiro (Brazil), the study combines a flexible function relating child development to daycare center quality. A hedonic cost function permits an evaluation of the cost-effectiveness of better-quality daycare centers. The study finds that the developmental age of children attending high-quality services is greater than that of children attending low-quality centers. It also finds that quality improvement can be measured in a number of ways, with different cost implications or impacts on child development.

Suggested Citation

  • Ricardo Barros & Mirela de Carvalho & Samuel Franco & Rosane Mendonca & Andrezza Rosalem, 2011. "A Short-Term Cost- Effectiveness Evaluation of Better-Quality Daycare Centers," Research Department Publications 4744, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.
  • Handle: RePEc:idb:wpaper:4744

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. W. Steven Barnett, 1992. "Benefits of Compensatory Preschool Education," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 27(2), pages 279-312.
    2. Berlinski, Samuel & Galiani, Sebastian & Gertler, Paul, 2009. "The effect of pre-primary education on primary school performance," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(1-2), pages 219-234, February.
    3. Berlinski, Samuel & Galiani, Sebastian & Manacorda, Marco, 2008. "Giving children a better start: Preschool attendance and school-age profiles," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(5-6), pages 1416-1440, June.
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D61 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Allocative Efficiency; Cost-Benefit Analysis
    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education
    • I22 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Educational Finance; Financial Aid

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