Monthly Archive for February, 2012

In Praise Of For-Profit Colleges

Tim Taylor cites a study showing:

Along with the flexibility to expand enrollments, for-profit higher education has shown considerable flexibility in teaching groups not well-served by traditional higher education. “African Americans account for 13 percent of all students in higher education, but they are 22 percent of those in the for-profit sector. Hispanics are 11.5 percent of all students but are 15 percent of those in the for-profit sector. Women are 65 percent of those in the for-profit sector. For-profit students are older: about 65 percent are 25 years and older, whereas just 31 percent of those at four-year public colleges are, and 40 percent of those at two-year colleges are.” In addition, for-profits are typically non-selective institutions, requiring only a high school diploma or a GED certificate.

Full article here. Of course, long time readers of my blog already know this.

Mobility In Context

Brookings Institute Scott Winshop on mobility:

However, evidence on earnings mobility in the sense of where parents and children rank suggests that our uniqueness lies in how ineffective we are at lifting up men who were poor as children. In other words, we have no more downward mobility from the middle than other nations, no less upward mobility from the middle, and no less downward mobility from the top. Nor do we have less upward mobility from the bottom among women. Only in terms of low upward mobility from the bottom among men does the U.S. stand out.

Full article here.

Another Reason Why Income Inequality Has Increased

The New York Times writes:

 Professor Reardon is the author of a study that found that the gap in standardized test scores between affluent and low-income students had grown by about 40 percent since the 1960s, and is now double the testing gap between blacks and whites.

Full article here.

Data On ObamaCare Shows Rationale Exaggerated

McArdle explains:

Part of Obamacare was a transitional “High Risk Pool” program to cover people who were unable to get insurance until the rest of the law’s provisions kicked in in 2014. The program allocated $5 billion. Medicare’s chief actuary assumed that it would attract 400,000 people; the CBO projected 200,000–but only because they assumed that HHS would use its authority to limit enrollment in order to keep the program below its budgetary cap.

The experience was not quite what had been expected. By January 2011, 8,000 people had enrolled, a number that rose to 12,000 by April. As of October 2011, by dramatically relaxing the requirements, lowering premiums, and paying brokers to enroll people, HHS had managed to get that number up to 41,000. Where were all the people with pre-existing conditions who couldn’t get insurance–the ones whose plight had been the impetus behind ObamaCare?

Full post can be found here.

Are Federal Workers Overpaid? The CBO Weighs In

Remember a while back, during the Wisconsin governor Walker fiasco, the debate that raged regarding government workers and their wages with respect to private sector workers? You had right wing economists arguing that federal workers were indeed overpaid and left wing economists arguing the opposite. An honest observer might have found it difficult to know who was right.

Well now, the CBO has weighed in on the topic and has come down on the side of right wing economists:

Differences in total compensation—the sum of wages and benefits—between federal and private-sector employees also varied according to workers’ education level.

Federal civilian employees with no more than a high school education averaged 36 percent higher total compensation than similar private-sector employees.
Federal workers whose education culminated in a bachelor’s degree averaged 15 percent higher total compensation than their private-sector counterparts.
Federal employees with a professional degree or doctorate received 18 percent lower total compensation than their private-sector counterparts, on average.
Overall, the federal government paid 16 percent more in total compensation than it would have if average compensation had been comparable with that in the private sector, after accounting for certain observable characteristics of workers.

Of course I, a huge fan of Andrew Biggs at AEI, knew this long ago. For more on Andrew Biggs research on this see here, here and especially here.