Cost Analysis for Educational Policymaking: A Review of Cost Studies in Education in Developing Countries

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Given the major challenge of improving education under tight budgetary constraints, educational policymakers in developing countries today are concerned with issues regarding educational costs. Using an economic framework, this paper reviews the issues and synthesizes the findings in a diverse literature on costs of education in developing countries. Four key educational-cost issues are considered: (a) What are the costs of education? (b) What are the major determinants of educational costs? (c) In what ways can cost analysis improve policymaking in education? and (d) What are the informational needs for cost analysis in education? The paper concludes that although cost analysis can contribute significantly to informed decisions on education, greater efforts must be undertaken to strengthen the informational basis of cost analysis and to incorporate cost analysis in educational policy making.

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