ERIC Number: ED402119
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1996-Oct
Economic Development: A Major Goal for Rural Education?
Pittman, Robert B.
Several studies raise serious doubts about whether economic development should be a goal for rural education and whether a causal relationship exists between education level and income. This study sought to determine the nature of the relationship between level of schooling and income level. Census data from 1940 to the present for 13 rural states and 13 nonrural states were used to compare percentage of high school graduates in each state with per capita income and percentage of college graduates with per capita income. Results reveal a very strong association between a state's per capita income and the percentage of that state's population graduating from high school 10 years later. This association is not as strong for college graduates, but advances in the relative amount of education seem to follow relative advances in income. This suggests that the economic development of rural areas is more a result of existing economic advantages than of the educational level of the available work force. Thus the human capital argument does not adequately explain the economic development of an entire rural region or state. Taken to the extreme, the results suggest that education can produce the greatest impact on economic development by having students who will develop industry, as opposed to staffing industry. Contains 8 graphs and 10 references. (TD)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Presented at the Annual Meeting of the National Rural Education Association Research Forum (San Antonio, TX, October 1996).