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Washington State Institute for Public Policy

Benefit-Cost Results

Since the 1990s, the Washington State legislature has directed WSIPP to identify “evidence-based” policies. The goal is to provide Washington policymakers and budget writers with a list of well-researched public policies that can, with a high degree of certainty, lead to better statewide outcomes coupled with a more efficient use of taxpayer dollars.

Research Approach. WSIPP has developed a three-step process to draw conclusions about what works and what does not to achieve particular outcomes of legislative interest. First, we systematically assess all high-quality studies from the United States and elsewhere to identify policy options that have been tested and found to achieve improvements in outcomes. Second, we determine how much it would cost Washington taxpayers to produce the results found in Step 1, and calculate how much it would be worth to people in Washington State to achieve the improved outcome. That is, in dollars and cents terms, we compare the benefits and costs of each policy option. It is important to note that the benefit-cost estimates pertain specifically to Washington State; results will vary from state to state. Third, we assess the risk in the estimates to determine the odds that a particular policy option will at least break even. ...show more

WSIPP acknowledges the MacArthur Foundation and the Pew Charitable Trusts that have helped fund some of the research reported on this page.

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For details on our benefit-cost methods, contact Michael Hirsch or download our technical documentation.

Latest Results. The tables on this webpage present our current findings for a variety of public policy topics. Items on these tables are updated periodically as new information becomes available. Interested readers can find more information by clicking each entry in the tables.

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Benefit-cost methods last updated December 2018

Open all programs PDF

Current estimates replace old estimates. Numbers will change over time as a result of model inputs and monetization methods.

Pre-K to 12 Education

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For questions on benefit-cost results relating to Pre-K to 12 Education, contact Julia Cramer.
Program name
(click on the program name for more detail)
Date of last literature review
Total benefits
Taxpayer benefits
Non-taxpayer benefits
Costs
Benefits minus costs (net present value)
Benefit to cost ratio
Chance benefits will exceed costs
Apr. 2018 $38,249 $10,485 $27,764 ($4,608) $33,641 $8.30 73 %
Dec. 2013 $34,180 $12,989 $21,191 ($7,377) $26,802 $4.63 83 %
Jan. 2018 $27,208 $6,985 $20,223 ($764) $26,444 $35.61 100 %
May. 2015 $17,088 $4,651 $12,438 ($501) $16,587 $34.10 98 %
Jul. 2014 $16,026 $4,066 $11,960 ($116) $15,910 $137.88 83 %
Feb. 2018 $15,621 $3,984 $11,637 ($222) $15,400 $70.51 70 %
Jun. 2014 $14,604 $3,706 $10,898 ($112) $14,492 $130.44 99 %
Jul. 2014 $15,915 $4,322 $11,593 ($1,482) $14,433 $10.74 68 %
Jun. 2014 $15,462 $4,100 $11,362 ($1,471) $13,991 $10.51 97 %
Jun. 2014 $13,011 $3,314 $9,698 ($202) $12,810 $64.53 93 %
Jun. 2014 $14,950 $4,091 $10,859 ($2,397) $12,554 $6.24 95 %
Sep. 2014 $14,162 $3,809 $10,352 ($1,826) $12,335 $7.76 82 %
Jul. 2014 $11,211 $2,945 $8,265 ($306) $10,905 $36.67 81 %
Jan. 2018 $10,952 $2,773 $8,179 ($60) $10,892 $183.73 94 %
Dec. 2013 $19,776 $7,254 $12,522 ($9,088) $10,688 $2.18 70 %
Jun. 2014 $9,365 $2,439 $6,925 ($561) $8,804 $16.70 78 %
Jun. 2014 $8,726 $2,238 $6,488 ($272) $8,454 $32.05 79 %
Jun. 2014 $6,709 $1,729 $4,981 ($264) $6,445 $25.44 81 %
Jun. 2014 $5,803 $1,478 $4,325 ($78) $5,726 $74.67 64 %
Jun. 2014 $6,444 $1,752 $4,693 ($960) $5,484 $6.71 93 %
Jun. 2014 $5,944 $1,650 $4,294 ($1,184) $4,760 $5.02 87 %
Jun. 2016 $4,597 $1,229 $3,368 ($559) $4,039 $8.23 59 %
Feb. 2018 $3,765 $954 $2,811 ($40) $3,725 $94.89 57 %
Jun. 2014 $4,238 $1,180 $3,058 ($831) $3,407 $5.10 57 %
Jun. 2014 $3,972 $1,194 $2,777 ($1,492) $2,480 $2.66 72 %
Oct. 2015 $2,486 $633 $1,853 ($37) $2,449 $67.31 87 %
Apr. 2018 $4,447 $1,441 $3,006 ($2,057) $2,390 $2.16 75 %
Jun. 2014 $2,235 $604 $1,630 ($304) $1,930 $7.34 60 %
Jun. 2014 $2,005 $518 $1,487 ($81) $1,924 $24.87 57 %
Jan. 2013 $1,670 $542 $1,128 ($214) $1,456 $7.81 94 %
May. 2015 $1,997 $588 $1,409 ($611) $1,386 $3.27 53 %
May. 2015 $2,744 $933 $1,811 ($1,717) $1,027 $1.60 62 %
Jan. 2013 $1,091 $351 $739 ($214) $877 $5.10 84 %
Jun. 2014 $929 $250 $679 ($119) $810 $7.79 56 %
May. 2015 $574 $213 $361 ($122) $452 $4.69 79 %
Apr. 2012 $11,669 $4,899 $6,769 ($11,234) $435 $1.04 46 %
Jan. 2013 $647 $218 $429 ($214) $433 $3.03 68 %
Jan. 2013 $502 $175 $326 ($214) $288 $2.35 61 %
Jan. 2013 $384 $137 $248 ($193) $191 $1.99 55 %
Jan. 2013 $337 $117 $220 ($173) $164 $1.95 53 %
Jan. 2013 $323 $116 $207 ($175) $148 $1.85 53 %
Jun. 2014 ($18) $7 ($25) ($90) ($108) ($0.19) 38 %
Dec. 2013 $505 $481 $23 ($2,808) ($2,303) $0.18 39 %
May. 2015 ($2,078) ($222) ($1,855) ($1,370) ($3,448) ($1.52) 47 %
Jun. 2014 ($3,514) ($887) ($2,627) ($19) ($3,533) ($188.61) 30 %
Apr. 2012 ($5,233) ($793) ($4,440) ($4,404) ($9,637) ($1.19) 31 %
Apr. 2012 $622 $3,607 ($2,985) ($11,324) ($10,701) $0.05 30 %
To view details of all Pre-K to 12 Education programs in a single pdf, click here.

Other Pre-K to 12 Education topics reviewed; benefit-cost results not yet available:

Program name
(click on the program name for more detail)
Date of last literature review Notes
Academic vocabulary instruction UPDATED
Mar. 2018 Click for meta-analytic results
Charter schools: Knowledge Is Power Program (KIPP)
Aug. 2013 Click for meta-analytic results
Charter schools: non-urban charter schools
Aug. 2013 Click for meta-analytic results
Charter schools: overall impact
Aug. 2013 Click for meta-analytic results
Charter schools: urban charter schools
Aug. 2013 Click for meta-analytic results
Daily Behavior Report Cards UPDATED
Apr. 2018 Click for meta-analytic results
Model early childhood education programs
Dec. 2013 Click for meta-analytic results
National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS) certified teachers (for elementary school students) NEW
Mar. 2018 Click for meta-analytic results
National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS) certified teachers (for secondary school students) UPDATED
Mar. 2018 Click for meta-analytic results
Pre-K and elementary bilingual instruction for English language learners
Jun. 2014 Click for meta-analytic results
Principal quality
Aug. 2013 Click for meta-analytic results
Teacher experience
Apr. 2012 Click for meta-analytic results
Teacher graduate degrees
Apr. 2012 Click for meta-analytic results
Teacher in-subject graduate degrees
Apr. 2012 Click for meta-analytic results
Transition programs for incoming kindergarteners UPDATED
Mar. 2018 Click for meta-analytic results
ACCEPTS program
May. 2015 No rigorous evaluation measuring outcome of interest.
Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID)
Jul. 2013 No rigorous evaluation measuring outcome of interest.
Comer School Development Program
Aug. 2018 No rigorous evaluation measuring outcome of interest.
Connecting With Others program
May. 2015 No rigorous evaluation measuring outcome of interest.
Credit retrieval
Apr. 2018 No rigorous evaluation measuring outcome of interest.
High Schools That Work (HSTW)
Jul. 2013 No rigorous evaluation measuring outcome of interest.
International Baccalaureate
Jul. 2013 No rigorous evaluation measuring outcome of interest.
K-12 educator professional learning communities
Feb. 2018 No rigorous evaluation measuring outcome of interest.
Lunch Buddy Program
May. 2015 No rigorous evaluation measuring outcome of interest.
Make Your Day
May. 2015 No rigorous evaluation measuring outcome of interest.
MicroSociety
Jul. 2013 No rigorous evaluation measuring outcome of interest.
Montessori in K-12
Jul. 2013 No rigorous evaluation measuring outcome of interest.
Parent and family engagement coordinators
Jan. 2018 No rigorous evaluation measuring outcome of interest.
Professional learning communities NEW
May. 2018 No rigorous evaluation measuring outcome of interest.
Skillstreaming
May. 2015 No rigorous evaluation measuring outcome of interest.
Team teaching/co-teaching
May. 2015 No rigorous evaluation measuring outcome of interest.
Think Time
May. 2015 No rigorous evaluation measuring outcome of interest.
Click to expand