The Price We Pay: Economic and Social Consequences of Inadequate Education
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While the high cost of education draws headlines, the cost of not educating America's children goes largely ignored. The Price We Pay remedies this oversight by highlighting the private and public costs of inadequate education. In this volume, leading scholars from a broad range of fields—including economics, education, demography, and public health—attach hard numbers to the relationship between educational attainment and such critical indicators as income, health, crime, dependence on public assistance, and political participation. They explore policy interventions that could boost the education system's performance and explain why demographic trends make the challenge of educating our youth so urgent today. Improving educational outcomes for at-risk youth is more than a noble goal. It is an investment with the potential to yield benefits that far outstrip its costs. The Price We Pay provides the tools readers need to analyze both sides of the balance sheet and make informed decisions about which policies will pay off. Contributors include Thomas Bailey (Teachers College, Columbia University), Ronald F. Ferguson (Harvard University), Irwin Garfinkel (Columbia University), Jane Junn (Rutgers University), Brendan Kelly (Columbia University), Enrico Moretti (UCLA), Peter Muennig (Columbia University), Michael Rebell (Teachers College, Columbia University), Richard Rothstein (Teachers College, Columbia University), Cecilia E. Rouse (Princeton University), Marta Tienda (Princeton University), Jane Waldfogel (Columbia University), and Tamara Wilder (Teachers College, Columbia University).
here) reflects normally distributed characteristics and that each has equal weight, black children, on average, are at the 43rd percentile in the distribution of children’s access to good health care. White children, on average, are at the 56th percentile. Health of Young Children Black children get less adequate nutrition, lacking not calories but some essential nutrients. For example, iron deficiency anemia, which adversely affects cognitive ability and predicts special education placement and
American society as opposed to being simply direct consequences of the others. Certainly the prevailing opinion in the United States today is that of all the inequalities we have described, the gap in education is the most important, and that if this gap were addressed forthrightly, then other inequalities would, with the passage of a generation, take care of themselves. It is true that the blackwhite gap in academic achievement is greater than the gap in any other domain (table 2-1). This may be
(www.fbi.gov/ucr/cius_03/pdf/toc03.pdf [August 2005]). Forrest, Christopher B., Barbara Starfield, Anne W. Riley, and Myungsa Kang. 1997. “The Impact of Asthma on the Health Status of Adolescents.” Pediatrics 99 (February): 2. Grissmer, David. 2005. Unpublished analysis of data from the Early Childhood Longitudinal Survey–Kindergarten (ECLS–K), provided to the authors. Halfon, Neal, and Paul W. Newacheck. 1993. “Childhood Asthma and Poverty: Differential Impacts and Utilization of Health
intervention will increase the graduate’s future income, occupational status, prestige, and access to social networks, all of which generate health.28 Yet those who are born into relative affluence are not only born with many of these advantages in place but may also be exposed to consistently higher educational quality than can reasonably be realized through most educational interventions. In addition, people born into relative affluence are also born into relative health. High-income children
collar workers,3 which implies that for more educated workers, the negative effect of a conviction on earnings extends beyond the time spent in prison. 1. Lochner and Moretti (2004). 2. Lochner and Moretti (2004). 3. See, for example, Kling (2002). 07-0863-6-CH07 10/9/07 4:56 PM Page 145 crime and the costs of criminal justice 145 Third, schooling may alter individual rates of time preference or risk aversion. That is, schooling may increase the patience exhibited by individuals, as was