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- Do the benefits resulting from HPOG 2.0 programs exceed their costs?
This document presents an analysis plan for the Cost-Benefit Analysis (CBA) to be conducted as part of the National Evaluation of the Second Generation of Health Profession Opportunity Grants (HPOG 2.0) Program. The National Evaluation includes 27 nontribal grantees funded in 2015.
This document provides a guide for implementing the CBA design. The CBA will:
- Estimate the costs of providing the local HPOG 2.0 programs; and
- Compare these costs with gains in employment and earnings measured in the National Evaluation’s Impact Evaluation.
Findings from the CBA—how the social costs (mostly program spending) compare with the social benefits (mostly earnings gains)—will be important to understanding the value of programs such as HPOG. Even if a program shows positive earnings impacts, those impacts may not outweigh the costs of the program. Knowing whether HPOG 2.0 benefits outweigh costs will help policymakers assess whether to encourage continuation of the federal HPOG Program or, potentially, replication of similar programs as part of national policy.
The CBA is important because it provides information on whether HPOG 2.0 benefits outweigh costs. This will help policymakers assess whether to encourage continuation of the federal HPOG Program or, potentially, replication of similar programs as part of national policy. This document serves as a plan for the CBA providing additional analytic details on how the CBA team will implement the CBA design reported in the Design Plan for Cost-Benefit Analysis (Loprest, Lerman, and Klerman 2019).
Key Findings and Highlights
The overall approach of the CBA is to measure the costs of education and training and associated services and then compare these with estimates of the benefits of HPOG 2.0.
This document briefly summarizes the overview, data sources, and methods for cost and benefit calculation originally shared in the Design Plan. Building on that, this Analysis Plan then gives additional details of the analyses that will be carried out. It also provides more detail on:
- Methods for calculating the cost (price) of education and training received by treatment and control group members;
- Approaches for addressing limitations of the Participant Follow-up Surveys in the calculations of costs;
- Methods for projecting future earnings and for calculating confidence intervals and associated sensitivity analyses;
- Assumptions on discount rates for calculating net present value;
- Summary of sensitivity analyses the CBA will conduct;
- Specific subgroup analyses the CBA will include; and
- Timing and outline of reporting of final results.
The CBA will be conducted in four steps:
- Measure and monetize HPOG 2.0 program costs.
- Measure and monetize HPOG 2.0 benefits (including projection of lifetime earnings).
- Calculate the net present value of HPOG 2.0 programs.
- Conduct sensitivity analyses to learn whether findings change when alternative assumptions are applied.
Pamela Loprest, Robert Lerman, and Jacob Alex Klerman (2020). National Evaluation of the Second Generation of Health Profession Opportunity Grants (HPOG 2.0): Analysis Plan for Cost-Benefit Analysis, OPRE Report # 2020-20. Washington, DC: Office of Planning, Research, and Evaluation, Administration for Children and Families, US Department of Health and Human Services.
- Career Pathways:
- A framework for occupational training that combines education, training, and support services that align with the skill demands of local economies and help individuals to enter or advance within a specific occupation or occupational cluster
- HPOG Program:
- The national Health Profession Opportunity Grants initiative, including all grantees and their local programs
- HPOG grantee:
- The entity receiving the HPOG grant and responsible for funding and overseeing one or more local programs
- Local HPOG program:
- A unique set of services, training courses, and personnel; a single grantee may fund one or more programs
- HPOG program participants:
- Enrollees in education and training programs and related services supported by HPOG grants
- Study participants:
- Eligible HPOG program applicants who agree to become part of the evaluation and are randomly assigned to the treatment or control group in the Impact Evaluation
- End goals for HPOG participants, including employment and earnings in general and in healthcare specifically