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more difficult to make such estimates for possible policy interventions related to youth than for most other interventions because of the multiple impacts of such interventions (increased by the multiple transitions through which youth are passing) that may last over decades—in addition to the usual difficulties of identifying policy impacts as opposed to associations and in pinning down the true resource costs (as opposed to governmental budgetary costs) of various policies. Consequently, there are relatively few good available estimates of the rates of return to alternative policies affecting youth in developing countries. The study combines information from different sources to provide new estimates of such returns, which in some cases appear to be quite substantial, particularly related to schooling. Thus, the chapter elaborates on a procedure for thinking about and evaluating the relative merits of different policy interventions related to youth in diverse contexts throughout the developing world.

The studies in this volume served as important inputs in the National Academies report on the transitions to adulthood in developing countries. They provide (1) new descriptions of patterns and associations between various transitions to adulthood both on a comparative level across a numbers of countries and for some particular countries that are of considerable interest in themselves, (2) methods for analyzing important aspects of those transitions and how policies might affect them, (3) illustrations of how existing data and new data enhance our understanding beyond that in the previous literature, and (4) suggestions of important data and analyses needed for further understanding. They both complement the report of the Panel on Transitions to Adulthood in Developing Countries and provide useful contributions in their own right. Our hope is that these studies will be useful to those charged with making and implementing public policy as well as scholars from different disciplines and leaders of civil society organizations wishing to build on the panel’s foundation.

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