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The Economic Case for Investing in Education

The Conference Board of Canada, 30 pages, June 19, 2019
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This report explores the economic impacts, as well as the wider social and fiscal impacts, of increased and reduced spending on Ontario’s public education.

Document Highlights

  • Each dollar of public education spending generates $1.30 in total economic benefits to Ontario. At the same time, the inverse holds true for each dollar taken from public education.
  • Public education can generate social benefits, such as a healthier population, a higher standard of living, and a reduction in crime. That lessens demand for Ontario’s social assistance, public health care, and criminal justice services.
  • Each additional high school graduate saves the Ontario government (on average) $2,767 each year on social assistance, health care, and criminal justice. While, each additional high school non-completer costs the province $3,128 each year.

Table of Contents

Executive summary

Section 1—Introduction

Section 2—The economic impacts of public education investments

  • Introduction
  • Economic impact methodology
  • Economic impact of public education

Section 3—The social benefits of public education

  • Introduction
  • Public education investment and student achievement
  • Measuring the social benefits of public education
  • Methodological limitations
  • The impact of public education on provincial social assistance spending
  • The impact of public education on health care spending
  • The impact of public education on criminal justice spending
  • The fiscal costs of a reduction in school achievement

Section 4—Conclusion

Appendix A—Coefficient estimates

Appendix B—Bibliography

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No charge, funded by The Conference Board of Canada and/or the research sponsor