The Benefits and Costs of Alternative Strategies to Improve Educational Outcomes
Orazem, Peter; Glewwe, Paul; Patrinos, Harry
Global Crises, Global Solutions, Cambridge, UK, No. 2nd (2009) (Originally published as WP #07028, November 2007 (Revised on August 1, 2008))
This paper reviews the stylized facts regarding the levels of human capital investments and the returns to those investments in developing countries. These returns are substantial and are pervasive across demographic groups. Returns are comparable between men and women and between urban and rural residents. The study shows that 23% of children in developing countries do not complete the fifth grade and of these, 55% started school but dropped out. We argue that eliminating dropouts is the most cost effective way to make progress on the goal of Universal Primary Education. Of the various mechanisms we can use, mechanisms that stimulate schooling demand have the strongest evidence of success to date and are the most cost effective.