In this set of eight facts, the Hamilton Project offers evidence of the economic value of a postsecondary education. These facts document who is enrolling in and completing – or dropping out of – postsecondary programs and how this has changed over time. While there continues to be a sizeable earnings premium for postsecondary degree holders, these facts also describe the distribution of debt and default among student borrowers.
In this economic analysis, THP analyzes the relationship between age, income, and measures of health status, as well as how these relationships have changed between the late 1970s and today. While overall there have been remarkable gains in life expectancy in the United States over the past half-century, these have not been reflected in other measures of health which have declined over time.
In this strategy paper, The Hamilton Project highlights rates of chronic absenteeism in elementary, middle and high schools throughout the United States. The interactive map illustrates THP’s research that shows that across the nation and in every state, rates of chronic absenteeism meaningfully differentiate between schools. This means that rates of chronic absenteeism are widely distributed across schools and that the lowest performing schools are clearly identifiable. Accordingly, an accompanying Hamilton Project report recommends the selection of chronic absenteeism when states choose a new measure of school accountability as mandated under the recently enacted federal education law.
In this set of economic facts, The Hamilton Project explores the characteristics of the populations of the currently incarcerated and individuals reentering their communities. In 2014, there were approximately seven million Americans living under correctional supervision and even more with criminal records. Successful reintegration is not just a concern for those who return from prison: it is also a matter of public safety and economic necessity. Reducing recidivism is critical for community safety; providing effective rehabilitation and skill development for those incarcerated and formerly incarcerated is critical to strengthening households and the economy.”
In the past 30 years, the U.S. labor market has shifted dramatically toward increasing demand and reward for noncognitive skills. These noncognitive skills – elsewhere called soft skills or social, emotional, and behavioral skills – include qualities like perseverance, conscientiousness, self-control, social skills, and leadership ability. To facilitate success in the modern labor market, education policies should address how schools and teachers develop noncognitive skills. In this set of economic facts, The Hamilton Project explores the development of noncognitive skills in education and the returns to noncognitive skills in the labor market.
In this Economic Analysis, The Hamilton Project explores the impact of Head Start on a new set of long-term outcomes, extending landmark analyses further into adulthood and considering the effect of Head Start on participants’ children. The Hamilton Project finds that Head Start has a significant impact on its participants' educational outcomes, social and behavioral development, and parenting practices later in life.
During the past 100 years, life expectancy at birth has increased by about 25 years in the United States. However, certain groups—notably older whites and low-income Americans—find their mortality rates either stagnating or rising in recent years. In a new framing paper, The Hamilton Project examines the widening gap in life expectancy and explores policy reforms aimed at extending life expectancy gains for more Americans.
Americans have enjoyed an overall gain of about 25 years in life expectancy at birth during the past century and eductions in mortality have continued in recent years for many Americans, including non-whites, the young, and those with higher incomes. Yet for other demographic groups, progress has stalled or even reversed. Disparities in life expectancy persist and some recent trends in mortality are cause for alarm.
Understanding the characteristics of the poor is crucial for crafting effective anti-poverty policies. In this Economic Analysis, The Hamilton Project documents characteristics of the 46.7 million Americans—14.8 percent of the population—who lived in poverty in 2014.
This economic analysis examines shifts in consumer spending patterns over the last thirty years, contrasting the experiences of low, middle, and high-income households. The analysis concludes that low-income households are spending a higher share of their budgets on basic needs—defined as the major budget components of housing, food, transportation, health care, and clothing—than they did three decades ago.
Between December 2007 and June 2009 the United States experienced the most severe recession in the postwar period. Given the massive human cost of recessions, it is incumbent upon policy makers to assess the policy tools at their disposal and identify those that are most effective at hastening economic recovery during a downturn. In this document, The Hamilton Project describes how different groups of workers were affected by the Great Recession, what works in fiscal stimulus, what could be done differently in future recessions, and the fiscal preparedness of states for the next downturn.
Households with teenagers report greater incidence of food insecurity than households with younger children. Yet for many teens, nutrition assistance programs such as School Lunch, School Breakfast, and SNAP are not providing enough calories to make it through the day. In a new economic analysis, The Hamilton Project explores how nutrition policies are leaving food insecure teenagers more vulnerable, and highlights policies to address this problem.