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Second Copenhagen Consensus: Education Assessment, Orazem Glewwe Patrinos

An Assessment Paper on Education was prepared for the second Copenhagen Consensus by Peter F. Orazem, Paul Glewwe, and Harry Patrinos.  The working paper used by the Expert Panel is available for download here, the finalized paper has been published in Global Crises, Global Solutions: Costs and Benefits through Cambridge University Press.

Short Summary

Building human capital by developing literate populations is a key driver for further economic growth. Interventions to encourage the 14.4 million children who drop out of primary education to complete grade 5 would cost $3.6 billion and be highly cost effective.

This paper reviews the stylized facts regarding the levels of human capital investments and the returns to those investments in developing countries. It 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.