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Prioritizing Educational Investments in Children in the Developing World

  • David K. Evans
  • Arkadipta Ghosh

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.

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File URL: http://www.rand.org/content/dam/rand/pubs/working_papers/2008/RAND_WR587.pdf
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Paper provided by RAND Corporation Publications Department in its series Working Papers with number 587.

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Length: 35 pages
Date of creation: Jun 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ran:wpaper:587
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  1. Bedi, A.S. & Marshall, J.H., 2000. "Primary school attendance in Honduras," ISS Working Papers - General Series 19066, International Institute of Social Studies of Erasmus University Rotterdam (ISS), The Hague.
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  8. Edward Miguel & Michael Kremer, 2004. "Worms: Identifying Impacts on Education and Health in the Presence of Treatment Externalities," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 72(1), pages 159-217, 01.
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  11. Esther Duflo & Abhijit Banerjee & Shawn Cole & Leigh Linden, 2006. "Remedying Education: Evidence from Two Randomised Experiments in India," Working Papers id:360, eSocialSciences.
  12. Sylvie Moulin & Michael Kremer & Paul Glewwe, 2009. "Many Children Left Behind? Textbooks and Test Scores in Kenya," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 1(1), pages 112-35, January.
  13. Joshua Angrist & Eric Bettinger & Erik Bloom & Elizabeth King & Michael Kremer, 2001. "Vouchers for Private Schooling in Colombia: Evidence from a Randomized Natural Experiment," NBER Working Papers 8343, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Ravallion, Martin & Wodon, Quentin, 1999. "Does child labor displace schooling? - evidence on behavioral responses to an enrollment subsidy," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2116, The World Bank.
  15. Michael Kremer & Robert Namunyu & Sylvie Moulin, 2003. "Decentralization: A cautionary tale," Natural Field Experiments 00290, The Field Experiments Website.
  16. Lloyd, Cynthia B & Mete, Cem & Sathar, Zeba A, 2005. "The Effect of Gender Differences in Primary School Access, Type, and Quality on the Decision to Enroll in Rural Pakistan," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 53(3), pages 685-710, April.
  17. Mark M. Pitt & Shahidur R. Khandker, 1998. "The Impact of Group-Based Credit Programs on Poor Households in Bangladesh: Does the Gender of Participants Matter?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 106(5), pages 958-996, October.
  18. Esther Duflo & Pascaline Dupas & Michael Kremer, 2008. "Peer Effects, Teacher Incentives, and the Impact of Tracking: Evidence from a Randomized Evaluation in Kenya," NBER Working Papers 14475, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  19. Bedi, Arjun S & Marshall, Jeffrey H, 1999. "School Attendance and Student Achievement: Evidence from Rural Honduras," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 47(3), pages 657-82, April.
  20. Duflo, Esther & Dupas, Pascaline & Kremer, Michael & Sinei, Samuel, 2006. "Education and HIV/AIDS prevention : evidence from a randomized evaluation in Western Kenya," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4024, The World Bank.
  21. Paul Schultz, T., 2004. "School subsidies for the poor: evaluating the Mexican Progresa poverty program," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 74(1), pages 199-250, June.
  22. Chin, Aimee, 2005. "Can redistributing teachers across schools raise educational attainment? Evidence from Operation Blackboard in India," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 78(2), pages 384-405, December.
  23. Bedi, A.S. & Kimalu, P. & Manda, D.K. & Nafula, N., 2002. "The decline in primary school enrolment in Kenya," ISS Working Papers - General Series 19103, International Institute of Social Studies of Erasmus University Rotterdam (ISS), The Hague.
  24. Alejandra Mizala & Pilar Romaguera, 2000. "School Performance and Choice: The Chilean Experience," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 35(2), pages 392-417.
  25. Jean Dreze & Geeta Gandhi Kingdon, 1999. "School Participation in Rural India," Working papers 69, Centre for Development Economics, Delhi School of Economics.
  26. Glewwe, Paul & Kremer, Michael & Moulin, Sylvie & Zitzewitz, Eric, 2004. "Retrospective vs. prospective analyses of school inputs: the case of flip charts in Kenya," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 74(1), pages 251-268, June.
  27. Tan, Jee-Peng & Lane, Julia & Coustere, Paul, 1997. "Putting Inputs to Work in Elementary Schools: What Can Be Done in the Philippines?," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 45(4), pages 857-79, July.
  28. Handa, Sudhanshu, 2002. "Raising primary school enrolment in developing countries: The relative importance of supply and demand," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(1), pages 103-128, October.
  29. Kim, Jooseop & Alderman, Harold & Orazem, Peter F, 1999. "Can Private School Subsidies Increase Enrollment for the Poor? The Quetta Urban Fellowship Program," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 13(3), pages 443-65, September.
  30. Gustavo J. Bobonis & Edward Miguel & Charu Puri-Sharma, 2006. "Anemia and School Participation," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 41(4).
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