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ERIC Number: ED510919
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2007-Feb
Pages: 6
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 15
Hidden Benefits: The Impact of High School Graduation on Household Wealth. Issue Brief
Alliance for Excellent Education
Several recent reports have highlighted the earnings gap between high school graduates and dropouts; however, earnings tell only part of the story. Families rely on income from salary for regular expenses, but real economic security requires accumulated wealth. Education can be the key to higher earnings, but it is even more importantly linked to the accumulation of assets. Research by Elena Gouskova and Frank Stafford of the University of Michigan Institute for Social Research shows that, on average, households headed by a high school graduate accumulate "ten times" more wealth than households headed by a high school dropout. Based on this finding, the Alliance for Excellent Education has determined that the citizens of the United States would have over $74 billion more in accumulated wealth if all heads of households had graduated from high school. Perhaps the most important benefit of wealth is the cushion that accumulated assets provide for families that face sudden unemployment, disabling medical situations, or any kinds of financial emergencies. This brief discusses the following: (1) the long-term benefits of accumulated wealth; (2) the wealth gap against the earning gap distribution; and (3) how increasing high school graduation rates is key to increasing the nation's collective wealth.
Alliance for Excellent Education. 1201 Connecticut Avenue NW Suite 901, Washington, DC 20036. Tel: 202-828-0828; Fax: 202-828-0821; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: High Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: MetLife Foundation
Authoring Institution: Alliance for Excellent Education
Identifiers - Location: United States