According to a September 2010 study titled ‘Ten Economic Facts About Immigration,’ from the Hamilton Project, an economic policy initiative from the nonprofit policy organization the Brookings Institution, ‘taxes paid by immigrants and their children — both legal and unauthorized — exceed the costs of the services they use.’ Even the high cost of childcare for immigrants, often seen as a burden on the American taxpayer, are proportional to the children of native-born parents. The cost is cancelled out when what those parents and children put back into the system is considered.
Parents who have children with birthdays on the cusp between two school years increasingly face a quandary. Should they hold their child back a year — also known as academic redshirting — to allow them to enter kindergarten as the oldest in the grade, or is it better to send them straight away as the youngest in the grade? "This is one of the most popular questions out there on the playground," Diane Schanzenbach, an education researcher and professor at Northwestern University, said on the podcast EdNext. "I think more often than not it's a mistake to redshirt your kindergartener," she continued.
In this week’s episode, Marty West talks with Diane Schanzenbach, about the down side of academic redshirting. Schanzenbach is a professor of education and social policy at Northwestern University and director of the Hamilton Project at the Brookings Institution. Along with Stephanie Howard Larson, Diane is the author of the article “Is your child ready for kindergarten?” which will appear in the Summer 2017 issue of the journal.
In other areas, the relationship between public programs and higher incomes and employment rates is more indirect and takes longer to play out, but researchers are analyzing vast troves of data to detect trends. For example, the food stamp program was introduced gradually in the United States from 1961 to 1975. Hilary Hoynes of the University of California, Berkeley, Diane Whitmore Schanzenbach of Northwestern University and Douglas Almond of Columbia University have found that low-income children who benefited from the program were healthier and more likely to be working decades later than otherwise similar children in counties where the program arrived later.
For me, the age gap didn't really matter until my freshman year at college, when I was only 17 and couldn't vote in the 2012 presidential election with everybody else. Feeling left out, I started to wish my parents had waited to put me in school. But, Diane Schanzenbach, an education professor at Northwestern University, and Stephanie Larson, director of Rose Hall Montessori School, have made me think twice. The two recently published an article on the emotional and economic toll that redshirting can have on students, despite all its praise from writers like Malcolm Gladwell.
The administration’s relationship to the Fed, and its appointment of governors, must be based not on politics but on the same question every president ought to ask: Who and what will best serve our country?
However, new evidence-based advice published Tuesday in the journal Education Next suggests redshirting may do more harm than good. ‘While children derive a short-term gain from being redshirted, that advantage dissipates quickly over time,’ authors Diane Whitmore Schanzenbach and Stephanie Howard Larson said in their report.
As any good educator will tell you, parents know their children best. There are multiple factors to weigh when deciding whether a preschooler is ready to thrive in kindergarten. What research tells us about the “average” child or “most” children may not apply to a particular son’s or daughter’s unique abilities and delays. Families might want to speak with parents of older children about their own kindergarten-enrollment decisions and how they view them in retrospect. And then, parents should follow their own best judgment.
Unemployment insurance is one of our most important labor market institutions, and we should be continually looking for ways to improve its functioning. Introducing a downward-sloping schedule of benefits would help encourage job search while continuing to assist workers who lose their jobs through no fault of their own.
Later this year, the Trump administration will unveil a $1 trillion infrastructure plan to address the nation's aging highways, bridges, airports and electrical grid. University of Southern California economics professor Matthew Kahn joins us to talk about how replacing these items can also help fight climate change. His paper "Protecting Urban Places and Populations from Rising Climate Risk" was recently published by [The Hamilton Project at] the Brookings Institution.
This is not, incidentally, because an increase in the labor supply has no adverse effects for anyone. Rather, as Heidi Shierholz of the liberal Economic Policy Institute emphasizes in her overview of the literature, it’s that “earlier immigrants are the group that’s most adversely affected by immigration” because they are the people whose skill sets are most likely to put them in direct competition with new immigrants. Across a range of estimates, the effects on wages “tend to be very small, and on average, modestly positive. That’s because, as Michael Greenstone and Adam Looney of the center-left Hamilton Project put it, “immigrants and U.S.-born workers generally do not compete for the same jobs; instead, many immigrants complement the work of U.S. employees and increase their productivity.
"If you think that low-income moms absolutely must be able to choose their child’s school, then you also have to think that she is smart enough to figure out what groceries to buy for herself,” said Diane Whitmore Schanzenbach, a professor at Northwestern University and director of the Hamilton Project at the Brookings Institution.
And a 2011 paper from the Brookings Institution’s Hamilton Project argued that the overall economic benefits of delaying school start times by one hour for middle and upper grades delivered an extra $17,500 in lifetime earnings per student because of better academic performance.
Former Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin says, "We now have an environment in Washington in which there seems to be a reasonable number of people who would like to fit the facts to their policies rather than starting with the facts."
It’s unclear whether those college grads earning less than in 2000 are in lower-paid fields or working in industries suffering from low growth or even cutbacks. Some evidence indicates that some college majors result in higher pay than others. The Hamilton Project found in a 2014 study that four science-related majors were linked with median lifetime earnings of more than $2 million, more than double that of early-childhood education grads.
Anti-poverty programs such as Medicaid, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, often called food stamps) and other safety-net programs designed to assist low-income Americans are not only social and moral imperatives — they serve critically important economic purposes.
President Trump has mocked the unemployment rate. That's why bipartisan think tanks and multiple former government officials, including former Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin, are sounding the alarm about the integrity of the government's economic data. Cristina Alesci reports.
Proposals to augment survey data with administrative data, with appropriate confidentiality safeguards, would likely improve the quality of data in a cost-effective manner. Agencies should build off the success of Census’ Longitudinal Employer-Household Dynamics program and continue finding ways to link different data sources together. “Data synchronization” should finally pass Congress and be enacted. Improving the data requires resources. The return on this investment is significant — to businesses, policymakers, and families. It’s an investment worth making.
Last week, the Hamilton Project at the Brookings Institution (often described as a center-left think tank) and the American Enterprise Institute (often described as a center-right think tank) held an event on the “vital role of government statistics.” The event was, in short, a full-throated, deeply passionate, bipartisan defense of the value and importance of government statistics.
Rubin, who spoke to CNNMoney from the Brookings Institution in Washington, says Trump's financial stimulus -- infrastructure spending and tax cuts -- may provide a short-term boost to the economy, but at a cost in the future.
You will often hear proponents argue for this policy by citing soaring longevity rates in the United States. But the data can mislead. At the start of the 20th century, average life expectancy was 46 years for men and 48 years for women; now, it is 76 for men, and 81 for women, according to Brookings Institution research. But that measures longevity from birth, and fails to factor in sharp declines in infant mortality.
As Schanzenbach notes, implementing SNAP restrictions on sweetened beverages or other sugary foods likely wouldn’t be a simple process. There are approximately 20,000 new food products introduced in this country every year — all of these would have to be evaluated by the USDA to determine eligibility. Nor is determining eligibility necessarily a straightforward proposition. Some granola bars, for example, have more sugar per serving than candy — should those foods be restricted? What about juice, specialty carbonated beverages, or flavored waters or sports drinks with small amounts of added sugar?
A report recently released by the Hamilton Project of the Brookings Institution recommends using chronic absenteeism — meaning the rate of students who are absent more than, say, 10 to 15 days each year — for accountability purposes. An estimated 5 million to 7.5 million students miss 18 or more days of a school year, according to the U.S. Department of Education.
Banning soda purchases would likely have no impact on what recipients buy at the grocery store, because they would likely shift their budgets and use their own money to buy soda, while relying on food-stamps for their other purchases. On top of that, the burden of restricting soda and candy purchases would fall on retailers, adding to their costs, The Hamilton Project director Diane Whitmore Schanzenbach told the committee.