by R.W. Hafer
June 26, 2014
Countries with higher educational attainment levels tend to experience faster economic growth and achieve higher standards of living. Thus, the concern expressed by many Americans upon hearing that the United States is not among the elite when it comes to educational attainment is well-founded. But concern about education and economic growth should go beyond just the national level - the two are positively related at the state level, as well. Furthermore, cognitive skill, not years in school, is the better measure of education. It is important for future economic growth not only to educate and keep resident populations, but also to attract educated individuals from elsewhere. At a minimum, education policies should aim at improving graduation rates at both the high school and college level. A focus on improving standardized test scores would yield still more economic growth. Improving educational attainment today will mean a stronger economy and a higher standard of living in the future. State policymakers would be wise to remember this.