Why are such smart authors playing such small ball?: Abigail Wozniak and Jay Shambaugh: Why we need to help kids go to college wherever they want

I don’t understand why these smart authors are playing such small ball. More colleges, less NIMBYism. FDR didn’t provide subsidies to people to move to where there was electricity, did he? And it is not just recent college graduates who have such difficulty moving to opportunity, is it?: Abigail Wozniak and Jay Shambaugh: Why We Need to Help Kids Go to College Wherever They Want: “Previous generations of young adults were much more likely to move for career opportunities….

…20- to 24- year-olds moves across state or county lines declined from 16% in 1965 to about 8% in 2016…. Meanwhile, employment and earnings opportunities continue to diverge…. Labor force participation in rural counties has fallen sharply since the recession, while it has been flat or modestly falling in metropolitan counties. But cities with more educated workers have been growing faster and paying higher wages for decades. This has contributed to a rising concentration of skilled workers in larger cities…. Recent college graduates face a more difficult path to finding a first job that is best for them….

We need to remove geographic barriers to college access and careers…. Large supplements to the Pell Grant… of up to $5,000 for students from counties without a degree-granting college within their borders could help these students afford the high cost of relocating…. Offer an automatic, full-year student loan grace period for graduating college students if they are working or seeking work in a job market outside of their commuting zone…. Greater mobility when graduating from college can help workers improve their early career job matches, this is critical for achieving higher lifetime earnings. College attendance plays an incredibly important role in increasing lifetime earnings, and early career conditions can have persistent effects on those earnings…

April 20, 2018


Brad DeLong
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