University of Wisconsin–Madison

La Follette Seminar Series: The Economic Returns to Interventions that Increase Learning

In the past decade, hundreds of studies have measured the learning outcomes of education interventions. The impact sizes often are reported in terms of “standard deviations,” making them difficult to communicate to policymakers beyond education specialists.

David Evans of the World Bank will discuss two alternative approaches to demonstrate the effectiveness of learning interventions: one in “equivalent years of schooling” and another in terms of the net present value of increased lifetime earnings. The results demonstrate that many interventions deliver sizable learning gains relative to business-as-usual schooling.

Evans is a lead economist on the team for the 2018 World Development Report on Education at the World Bank. His research focuses on the economics of education, health, and social safety nets, particularly in Africa and Latin America.