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Analyze interventions' costs

SEER Standards

  • Researchers must document the type and quantity of resources (e.g., personnel, materials and equipment, facilities, and other inputs) required to implement the interventions they study and document the economic cost of those resources.
  • When cost analyses are conducted, researchers must:
    • identify the perspective from which the cost analysis was conducted (e.g., societal perspective, district perspective) and provide the reason for taking this perspective;
    • clearly state all the assumptions used in estimating costs and offer a justification for those assumptions,
    • describe any adjustments made to prices to amortize costs or to account for inflation, regional price differences, and the time value of money and explain a rationale for those adjustments; and
    • present cost metrics and cost breakdowns that help education decisionmakers understand the resource requirements and costs of implementing interventions.


  • When feasible, researchers conducting a cost analysis should provide a "reference case analysis" in which they adopt a societal perspective (i.e., include costs to all stakeholders), use national average prices, and use a 3 percent discount rate to calculate present values.
  • Even if not otherwise required, researchers should consider measuring the cost of components of the intervention relative to the control or comparison condition.


What We're Reading

Hollands, F.M., Kieffer, M.J., Shand, R., Pan, Y., Cheng, H, & Levin, H.M. (2016). Cost-effectiveness analysis of early reading programs: A demonstration with recommendations for future research. Journal of Research on Educational Effectiveness, 9, 30–53.

Levin, H.M., & Belfield, C. (2015). Guiding the development and use of cost-effectiveness analysis in education. Journal of Research on Educational Effectiveness, 8, 400–418.

Last Modified: April 24, 2023