Occasional Paper – Vol: 2, Dr. Rich Kendell
Education Drives Economic Success
A recent report published by Noah Berger and Peter Fisher indicates that states can build a strong foundation for economic success and prosperity by investing in strategies that make people more productive. Chief among them is education.
The report was published by the Economic Analysis and Research Network in 2013. EARN is a network of state and regional organizations that does research, policy, and advocacy to improve the lives of all Americans by supporting and advancing robust economies.
Noah Berger is president of the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center. He has degrees from Harvard College and Harvard Law School.
Peter Fisher is the research director of the Iowa Policy Project. He had a Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Following are their key findings taken directly from their report.
- Overwhelmingly, high-wage states are states with a well-educated workforce. There is a clear and strong correlation between the educational attainment of a state’s workforce and median wages in the state.
- States can build a strong foundation for economic success and shared prosperity by investing in education. Providing expanded access to high quality education will not only expand economic opportunity for residents, but also likely do more to strengthen the overall state economy than anything else a state government can do.
- Cutting taxes to capture private investment from other states is a race-to-the-bottom state economic development strategy that undermines the ability to invest in education.
- States can increase the strength of their economies and their ability to grow and attract high-wage employers by investing in education and increasing the number of well-educated workers.
- Investing in education is also good for state budgets in the long run, since workers with higher incomes contribute more through taxes over the course of their lifetimes.
Investing in education is the key factor for economic success and shared prosperity.
“Providing expanded access to high quality education and related supports – particularly for those young people who today lack such access – will not only expand economic opportunity for those individuals, but will also likely do more to strengthen the overall state economy than anything else a state government can do.”
Note: The full report can be found at www.earncentral.org