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Educational cost-benefit analysis - Education Research Paper No. 02, 1993, 27 p.

Table of Contents

Professor J R Hough
Loughborough University

Serial No. 2
ISBN: 0 902500 62 7

Overseas Development Administration

The writer gratefully acknowledges assistance received from Dr. George Psacharopoulos, Ms. Maureen Woodhall, and the in-house education advisers at ODA, who made helpful comments on an earlier draft of this paper.



This is one of a number of Occasional Papers issued from time to time by the Education Division of the Overseas Development Administration. Each paper represents a study or piece of commissioned research on some aspect of education and training in developing countries. Most of the studies were undertaken in order to provide informed judgements from which policy decisions could be drawn, but in each case it has become apparent that the material produced would be of interest to a wider audience, particularly but not exclusively those whose work focuses on developing countries.

Each paper is numbered serially, and further copies can be obtained through the ODA's Education Division, 94 Victoria Street, London SW1E 5JL, subject to availability.

Although these papers are issued by the ODA, the views expressed in them are entirely those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the ODA's own policies or views. Any discussion of their content should therefore be addressed to the authors and not to the ODA.


Table of Contents

Executive summary

1. Introduction

2. Definition

3. Development

4. Methodology

5. An alternative approach to rates-of-return

6. Other techniques in educational planning

7. Some cost-benefit results

8. CBA in third world countries: Earlier findings

9. CBA in third world countries: More recent studies

10. Criticisms of CBA in third world countries

11. The educational effectiveness literature

12. The comparative education literature

13. Towards a new approach to cost-benefit analysis

Appendix 1: Project proposal

Appendix 2: Returns to investment in education by level and country

Appendix 3: Bibliography