Economic Case for Investing in Children
Literature Review and Analysis
This paper provides a review of evidence on the socio-economic case for investing in children. This includes an analysis of both i) the returns associated with investments in children and ii) the costs of inaction in investing in children.
Investment cases estimate the returns (or benefits) on an investment (or costs) made at an earlier stage. Investment cases intend to provide economic arguments to engage in certain types of investments. Investment cases for children seek to make the economic arguments in favour of investing in children because it is expected that these investments will yield high returns for the investors in the future, be they public authorities or private agents.
There is a large body of literature outlining arguments on why it is rational to invest in children. Many of these arguments are intuitively appealing and/or based on moralistic arguments, referring to human rights in general and the rights of children in particular. Other arguments provide summaries of fragmentary evidence on the impact of investments made in children on economic or social outcomes either for the children themselves or for their communities or for both.
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