Guiding the Development and Use of Cost-Effectiveness Analysis in Education

Document Type

Journal Article

Date of this Version



Cost-effectiveness analysis is rarely used in education. When it is used, it often fails to meet methodological standards, especially with regard to cost measurement. Although there are occasional criticisms of these failings, we believe that it is useful to provide a listing of the more common concerns and how they might be addressed. Based upon both previous projects on the subject and a recent project that attempted to construct cost-effectiveness comparisons from the What Works Clearinghouse of the Institute of Educational Sciences of the U.S. Department of Education, we have identified a set of recommendations for practice that should have high priority if we are to construct valid cost-effectiveness comparisons for policy uses when choosing among alternative educational interventions.


Costs, Economics, Cost-Effectiveness



Date Posted: 19 May 2023