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We now have the first set of papers on education: what is the smartest target?

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The Post-2015 Consensus has just released our latest research series on Education targets for the Post-2015 agenda. George Psacharopoulos, formerly of the London School of Economics and the World Bank writes the main report, peer-reviewed in perspective papers by Paul Glewwe and Caroline Krafft of the University of Minnesota, Department of Economics, and by Peter Orazem of the Economics Department at Iowa State University. Additionally, NGOs and stakeholders such as Education International, Save the Children, and UNICEF present viewpoint papers concerning Psacharopoulos’ analysis.

what is the smartest target?

Reduce by 50% the proportion of children not in pre-school in sub-Saharan Africa. For every dollar spent, the net benefit is 33 dollars.

Education Targets Benefit for Every Dollar Spent
Increase the preschool enrollment ratio is Sub-Saharan Africa from the present 18% to 59% $33
Increase the primary enrollment ratio is Sub-Saharan Africa from the present 75% to 100% $7
Increase student test scores by one standard deviation $4
Ensure secondary school completion $4

The top target is not universal, because pre-school is a much better investment in Sub-Saharan Africa than elsewhere. The top target is not 100% because that is both much harder and much less effective.

You can read the full set of reports here.