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A benefit-cost analysis of a long-term intervention on social and emotional Learning in compulsory school

Journal article
Authors Alli Klapp
Clive Belfield
Brooks Bowden
Henry Levin
Robert Shand
Sabine Zander
Published in The International Journal of Emotional Education
Volume 9
Issue 1
Pages 3-19
ISSN 2073-7629
Publication year 2017
Published at Department of Education and Special Education
Pages 3-19
Language en
Keywords Keywords:social and emotional learning; benefit-cost analysis; school intervention; drug use; school programs
Subject categories Educational Sciences, Economics and Business


There is growing evidence that social and emotional skills can be taught to students in school and teaching these skills can have a positive effect on later outcomes, such as better mental health and less drug use. This paper presents a benefit-cost analysis of a longitudinal social and emotional learning intervention in Sweden, using data for 663 students participating in the evaluation. Intervention costs are compared against treatment impact on self-reported drug use. Pre-test and post-test data are available. Since follow-up data for the participants´ drug use as adults is not available, informed projections have been made. Net present monetary values are calculated for the general public and society. The results show that students in the treatment group report decreasing use of drugs over the five year long intervention, the value of which easily outweighs the intervention costs.

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