The costs of public education in Colombia

How much do the best public schools invest per child?

Project details

  • Client

    Ministry of Education of Colombia
  • Services

    Analysis of the costs of public education using microdata.

  • Team in charge

    Marcela Meléndez

    Santiago Guerrero

    Juan Camilo Medellín

  • Year

  • Categories

Project summary

Colombia invests less in education per child than other countries with a similar development level. However, there are public schools that fall in the upper end of the distribution by the performance of theit students in standardized tests. What do these schools do differently? In what are they different than their peers with weaker performances? 

In this project we used the official databases of the Ministry of Educaction of Colombia to explore these questions.


  • The central finding of this exercise was that the best public schools differ from their peers mainly in the average education level of their teachers (and in the budget associated to their salaries).