Cover image for Closing the education gap : benefits and costs
Closing the education gap : benefits and costs
Vernez, Georges.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Santa Monica, CA : RAND, 1999.
Physical Description:
xxvi, 198 pages : illustrations ; 23 cm
General Note:
"MR-1036-EDU"--P. [4] of cover.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
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Item Holds
LC213.2 .V47 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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How much would it cost and what would the benefits be if blacks and Hispanics graduated from high school, went to college, and graduated from college at the same rate as non-Hispanic whites? The answer to this important question for the future of the nation is explored in this report. The costs of education would be high, increasing by about 20 percent in California and 10 percent in the rest of the nation. But the benefits, in the form of savings in public health and welfare expenditures and increased tax revenues from higher incomes, would be even higher. Indeed, the added costs of providing more education to minorities would be recouped well within the lifetime of taxpayers called upon to make the additional investments. The nation is experiencing a rapid immigration driven increase in the share of Hispanics in the school age population. Failure to increase the educational attainment of this group would result in growing shares of new labor-force entrants having levels of education lower than those prevailing today; in increased income disparities between blacks and Hispanics, on one hand, and Asians and non-Hispanic whites, on the other; and in increased public expenditures for social and health programs for generations to come.

Reviews 1

Choice Review

Although the college-going and college-completion rates of all ethnic groups have increased over the last 25 years in the US, a significant gap still exists between whites and Asians on one hand, and Hispanics and African Americans on the other. In this powerful and insightful work, the authors examine the policy implications of closing the gap in educational attainment by equalizing high school graduation rates, first-year college-going rates, college retention rates, and finally college-completion rates. For each of these equalization strategies, the authors describe the costs associated with educating these additional students as well as the benefits in terms of decreased public spending and increased tax revenues. In conducting their analysis, the authors use both econometric techniques and a new RAND simulation model that describes the detailed flow of students in and out of each school and college grade starting with the 9th grade. Fortunately, their assumptions are reasonable and their analytic techniques appropriate because their conclusions--that the benefits of each of the equalization strategies far exceed the costs--are powerful enough to make this a must-read for all educational policy makers as well as researchers. Highly recommended for general readers, upper-division undergraduates, graduate students, faculty, and researchers. F. Galloway; University of San Diego

Table of Contents

Prefacep. v
Figuresp. xi
Tablesp. xv
Summaryp. xix
Acknowledgmentsp. xxv
Chapter 1 Introductionp. 1
Chapter 2 The Public Benefits of Educationp. 13
Chapter 3 The Rand Education Simulation Modelp. 33
Chapter 4 Effects of Demographic Change on Educational Attainmentp. 47
Chapter 5 Costs and Benefits of Closing the Educational Attainment Gap for Blacks and Hispanicsp. 57
Chapter 6 Effects of Immigration on Educationp. 83
Chapter 7 Discussion and Next Stepsp. 97
Appendix A Data Used to Estimate Public Program Benefitsp. 105
Appendix B Estimated Relationships between Educational Attainment and Spending on Social Programsp. 111
Appendix C The Elderly: a Special Casep. 137
Appendix D Savings in Program Expenditures and Increases in Tax Revenues and Disposable Income Associated with Increased Educational Attainmentp. 141
Appendix E Education Flow Ratesp. 145
Appendix F Annual Flows for Births, Deaths, and Immigrationp. 165
Appendix G Education Cost Estimatesp. 179
Appendix H Adult Population in 1990 and Projected to 2015p. 185
Appendix I Estimates of Costs and Benefitsp. 189
Referencesp. 193