economics

Showing 188 posts tagged economics

Why the Poor Remain Poor

The unstoppable TI-84 Plus: How an outdated calculator still holds a monopoly on classrooms

Electronics almost universally become cheaper over time. But with essentially a monopoly on graphing calculator usage in classrooms, Texas Instruments can charge a premium. Texas Instruments accounted for 93 percent of the U.S. graphing calculator sales from July 2013-June 2014. Casio took the other 7 percent, according to NPD data. During that period 1.6 million graphing calculators were sold, a decrease from sales of 1.67 million during July 2011-June 2012.
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The unstoppable TI-84 Plus: How an outdated calculator still holds a monopoly on classrooms

Electronics almost universally become cheaper over time. But with essentially a monopoly on graphing calculator usage in classrooms, Texas Instruments can charge a premium. Texas Instruments accounted for 93 percent of the U.S. graphing calculator sales from July 2013-June 2014. Casio took the other 7 percent, according to NPD data. During that period 1.6 million graphing calculators were sold, a decrease from sales of 1.67 million during July 2011-June 2012.


This report focuses on the government’s private debt collector program, first describing how the current system works and what it costs. Next, the report details the incentive compensation system and how this system leads to abuses by private collection agencies. It then compares the Department of Education’s evaluation of its private collection agencies with complaints to the Federal Trade Commission and the Better Business Bureau. Finally, the report explains how the structure of Federal Student Aid (FSA) enables widespread violations of consumer protection laws and prevents borrowers from accessing their rights. The report concludes with recommendations for reform.
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This report focuses on the government’s private debt collector program, first describing how the current system works and what it costs. Next, the report details the incentive compensation system and how this system leads to abuses by private collection agencies. It then compares the Department of Education’s evaluation of its private collection agencies with complaints to the Federal Trade Commission and the Better Business Bureau. Finally, the report explains how the structure of Federal Student Aid (FSA) enables widespread violations of consumer protection laws and prevents borrowers from accessing their rights. The report concludes with recommendations for reform.

Student Loan Update: A First Look at the 2013 Survey of Consumer Finances

Earlier this year, we released a report aimed at injecting some much-needed evidence into what has become an often-hysterical public debate about student loan debt. Our report, “Is a Student Loan Crisis on the Horizon?” used data from the Survey of Consumer Finances (SCF) administered by the Federal Reserve Board to track how the education debt levels and incomes of young households evolved between 1989 and 2010. The data showed large increases in average debt levels over time, but also revealed some surprising findings.
First, we found that roughly one-quarter of the increase in student debt between 1989 and 2010 can be directly attributed to increases in educational attainment, especially at the graduate level. 
Second, the increases in the average lifetime incomes of college-educated workers appear to have more than kept pace with increases in debt loads between 1992 and 2010. Specifically, the increase in earnings received over the course of 2.4 years would pay for the increase in debt incurred. 
Third, the monthly payment burden faced by student loan borrowers stayed about the same or even lessened between 1992 and 2010.
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Student Loan Update: A First Look at the 2013 Survey of Consumer Finances

Earlier this year, we released a report aimed at injecting some much-needed evidence into what has become an often-hysterical public debate about student loan debt. Our report, “Is a Student Loan Crisis on the Horizon?” used data from the Survey of Consumer Finances (SCF) administered by the Federal Reserve Board to track how the education debt levels and incomes of young households evolved between 1989 and 2010. The data showed large increases in average debt levels over time, but also revealed some surprising findings.

  • First, we found that roughly one-quarter of the increase in student debt between 1989 and 2010 can be directly attributed to increases in educational attainment, especially at the graduate level.
  • Second, the increases in the average lifetime incomes of college-educated workers appear to have more than kept pace with increases in debt loads between 1992 and 2010. Specifically, the increase in earnings received over the course of 2.4 years would pay for the increase in debt incurred.
  • Third, the monthly payment burden faced by student loan borrowers stayed about the same or even lessened between 1992 and 2010.
The Cost of Raising & Educating Kids

The average cost of raising a child from birth through age 18 is about $250,000 (excluding the cost of birth, college, and lost wages in between) or $13,900 per year. That Department of Agriculture estimate includes an extra bedroom and some transportation cost which, for some families, may not be a marginal cost. But it is still breathtakingly high–about a quarter of annual median income of $54,000.
While more than 90% of parents take advantage of free public education, they and other citizens pay for it through income and property tax (and, for college, lots of student loan debt). The grand total of $32,600 to raise a kid raises questions about economic sustainability. The disproportionality that falls on low income families raises questions about equity.

The Cost of Raising & Educating Kids

The average cost of raising a child from birth through age 18 is about $250,000 (excluding the cost of birth, college, and lost wages in between) or $13,900 per year. That Department of Agriculture estimate includes an extra bedroom and some transportation cost which, for some families, may not be a marginal cost. But it is still breathtakingly high–about a quarter of annual median income of $54,000.

While more than 90% of parents take advantage of free public education, they and other citizens pay for it through income and property tax (and, for college, lots of student loan debt). The grand total of $32,600 to raise a kid raises questions about economic sustainability. The disproportionality that falls on low income families raises questions about equity.

Notebooks And Pencils And Pens, Cha-Ching!

This August, Americans will spend an estimated on back-to-school shopping, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce. A lot of that spending is driven by the lists that schools and teachers give out, detailing what students need to bring on that first day.
To get a handle on what’s on those lists and in those backpacks — and how much it costs to fill them — we pulled a sample of schools around the country, one from each of the U.S. Census Bureau’s nine geographic regions. Then, we examined each school’s lists for grades one, three and five.
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Notebooks And Pencils And Pens, Cha-Ching!

This August, Americans will spend an estimated on back-to-school shopping, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce. A lot of that spending is driven by the lists that schools and teachers give out, detailing what students need to bring on that first day.

To get a handle on what’s on those lists and in those backpacks — and how much it costs to fill them — we pulled a sample of schools around the country, one from each of the U.S. Census Bureau’s nine geographic regions. Then, we examined each school’s lists for grades one, three and five.

Is a Student Loan Crisis on the Horizon? 

College tuition and student debt levels have been increasing at a fast pace for at least two decades.  These well-documented trends, coupled with an economy weakened by a major recession, have raised serious questions about whether the market for student debt is headed for a crisis, with many borrowers unable to repay their loans and taxpayers being forced to foot the bill.
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Is a Student Loan Crisis on the Horizon?

College tuition and student debt levels have been increasing at a fast pace for at least two decades.  These well-documented trends, coupled with an economy weakened by a major recession, have raised serious questions about whether the market for student debt is headed for a crisis, with many borrowers unable to repay their loans and taxpayers being forced to foot the bill.

micdotcom shares:

 8 charts parents of millennials need to see

There’s a simple reason young adults are living at home in higher numbers: For many, moving out means living in poverty.

The numbers are jarring. According to the Pew Research Center, a whopping 56% of 18-24 year olds lived at home in 2012, the highest rate since the 1970s. Today’s young adults are taking longer to reach life milestones like taking out a mortgage or getting married. The New Republic has dubbed this trend the Great Delay.

Read more | Follow micdotcom 

‘Ivory Tower’ explores why American higher education is so pricey

The rise in U.S. college tuition is unsustainable. That’s the argument of a new television documentary, “Ivory Tower,” which tackles growing worries and critique over college costs and student debt. Jeffrey Brown talks to filmmaker Andrew Rossi about the origins of rising costs and financial competition among institutions, plus ideas about how to turn around the trend.

For Poor, Highs and Lows of Housing Costs Hurt Kids’ Academic Skills

When a family spends more than half of its income on a home, their children’s reading and math abilities tend to suffer, according to a new study by Johns Hopkins University. This is also the case when they spend too little — less than 20 percent of their income. 
In fact, children’s academic skills seem to thrive best when families spend about one third of their income on housing.

image via flickr:CC | JSmith Photo High-res

For Poor, Highs and Lows of Housing Costs Hurt Kids’ Academic Skills

When a family spends more than half of its income on a home, their children’s reading and math abilities tend to suffer, according to a new study by Johns Hopkins University. This is also the case when they spend too little — less than 20 percent of their income.

In fact, children’s academic skills seem to thrive best when families spend about one third of their income on housing.

image via flickr:CC | JSmith Photo

Public Schools Are Hurting More in the Recovery Than in the Recession

Once the recession ended, however, so did the stimulus — long before state and local governments were ready to pick up the slack. Federal per-student spending fell more than 20 percent from 2010 to 2012, and it has continued to fall. State and local funding per student were essentially flat in 2012, the most recent year for which data is available.
The result: Total school funding fell in 2012 for the first time since 1977, the Census Bureau reported last month. Adjusting for inflation and growth in student enrollment, spending fell every year from 2010 to 2012, even as costs for health care, pension plans and special education programs continued to rise faster than inflation.1 Urban districts have been particularly hard-hit by the cuts in federal education spending: Nearly 90 percent of big-city school districts spent less per student in 2012 than when the recession ended in 2009.2
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Public Schools Are Hurting More in the Recovery Than in the Recession

Once the recession ended, however, so did the stimulus — long before state and local governments were ready to pick up the slack. Federal per-student spending fell more than 20 percent from 2010 to 2012, and it has continued to fall. State and local funding per student were essentially flat in 2012, the most recent year for which data is available.

The result: Total school funding fell in 2012 for the first time since 1977, the Census Bureau reported last month. Adjusting for inflation and growth in student enrollment, spending fell every year from 2010 to 2012, even as costs for health care, pension plans and special education programs continued to rise faster than inflation.1 Urban districts have been particularly hard-hit by the cuts in federal education spending: Nearly 90 percent of big-city school districts spent less per student in 2012 than when the recession ended in 2009.2

Will loan forgiveness offer long-term student debt solution?

The average person graduating from college in 2013 borrowed nearly $30,000 in student debt. To help Americans overburdened by their loans, President Obama signed a new executive order that expands on a 2010 law that capped federal loan repayments at 10 percent of borrowers’ monthly income.

BOLDING FOR EMPHASIS: “If the costs keep going up, what’s the point in just forgiving loans?” High-res

Will loan forgiveness offer long-term student debt solution?

The average person graduating from college in 2013 borrowed nearly $30,000 in student debt. To help Americans overburdened by their loans, President Obama signed a new executive order that expands on a 2010 law that capped federal loan repayments at 10 percent of borrowers’ monthly income.

BOLDING FOR EMPHASIS: “If the costs keep going up, what’s the point in just forgiving loans?”