WP3 The business case: Costs, cost-benefit analysis and case studies

Lead beneficiary: University of Bologna (Italy), Manchester Metropolitan University (United Kingdom)

Work package 3, taking into account the case for a Europe wide longitudinal analysis of children’s well-being presented in the MYWeB project, had three main objectives:

  • establish realistic costs for the lifecycle of EuroCohort
  • extend the cost-benefit analysis presented in MYWeB 
  • develop case-studies of specific longitudinal analyses to show the societal benefit of evidence-based policy development and intervention.

Summary of WP3

In this work package we have conducted three main tasks related to the objectives mentioned above: a) establish realistic estimates for the construction of, and ongoing annual costs, for each EU member state to undertake EuroCohort using information about the sample size, frequency of data collection and staff costs (following the sample design developed in WP8). In addition, estimate the funding requirements for the survey hub team; b) extend the MYWeB CBA, using available information about the spending on child well-being across EU member states; c) develop case studies which clearly show the benefits of longitudinal data in understanding and responding to social issues (in particular but not exclusively) relating to children. The case studies have been chosen based on a literature review and with the help of partners in the consortium.

In a nutshell, the cost benefit analysis (using a break-even approach) suggests that improvements in the effectiveness of Member States’ expenditure related to child well-being (due to the availability of new longitudinal survey data provided by EuroCohort) of a measure around 1 over 17k would be sufficient for the benefits of such a survey to outweigh the financial costs. It needs to be stressed that the potential for such improvements is not evenly spread between Member States; some Member States (notably the UK, Germany and Ireland) already commission several longitudinal and other surveys while others do not currently have access to such data. This result is fully consistent with the first key finding highlighted by our review of case studies presenting the impact of longitudinal studies. The results of WP emphasise the importance of investing resources (private and public) in order to achieve a better understanding of children and young adults’ well-being as a reference for policy makers and various stakeholders (academic, practitioners and so forth), both at the European and national levels, which was also a key finding of MYWeB project.

The analysis conducted in WP3 is not only relevant for the survey design (WP8) and the costing of the pilot (WP9) but also for the general objective of reaching out for policy makers and funders (WP4). In this respect, the costing exercise we have proposed is also to be read in connection with the governance structure of EuroCohort (WP5).