Winner, Best Book in Education, PROSE Awards, Professional and Scholarly Publishing Division, Association of American Publishers
A college education has long been acknowledged as essential for both personal success and economic growth. But the measurable value of its nonmonetary benefits has until now been poorly understood. In Higher Learning, Greater Good, leading education economist Walter W. McMahon carefully describes these benefits and suggests that higher education accrues significant social and private benefits.
McMahon's research uncovers a major skill deficit and college premium in the United States and other OECD countries due to technical change and globalization, which, according to a new preface to the 2017 edition, continues unabated. A college degree brings better job opportunities, higher earnings, and even improved health and longevity. Higher education also promotes democracy and sustainable growth and contributes to reduced crime and lower state welfare and prison costs. These social benefits are substantial in relation to the costs of a college education.
Offering a human capital perspective on these and other higher education policy issues, McMahon suggests that poor understanding of the value of nonmarket benefits leads to private underinvestment. He offers policy options that can enable state and federal governments to increase investment in higher education.
Walter W. McMahon is emeritus professor of economics and emeritus professor of education at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He is the author of Education and Development: Measuring the Social Benefits.
Preface1. What Is the Problem?2. Challenges Facing Higher Education Policy3. Higher Education and Economic Growth4. Private Non-Market Benefits of Higher Education and Market Failure5. Social Benefits of Higher Education and Their Policy Implications6. University Research7. New Higher Education Policies8. New Strategies for Financing Higher EducationAppendixesA. Correcting for Ability Bias in Returns to Higher EducationB. A Simplified Dynamic Model with Higher Education ExternalitiesC. Valuing the Effects of Higher Education on Private Non-Market OutcomesD. Higher Education and Growth, U.S. and OECD Countries, 1960-2005E. Valuing the External Social Benefi ts of Higher EducationReferencesIndex