State economic development benefits from reducing ADHD

In chapter 12 of Investing in Kids, I also consider the state economic development benefits from reducing “attention deficit hyperactivity disorders”. We might imagine public health and education policies that might intervene to reduce such disorders.

I based my estimated economic development effects on research by Currie et al (2009). They estimate how occurrences of ADHD/conduct disorders at various ages affect test scores in secondary school.  I use these test score effects to estimate adult earnings effects. I also simulate how many of these youth are likely to remain in the state, thus affecting state labor force quality and the number and quality of jobs in the state.

I specifically examine policies that might reduce the incidence of multiple period ADHD disorders. The idea is that once an ADHD disorder had been diagnosed, appropriate intervention might reduce future recurrences.

I estimate that reducing one case of multiple-age-period ADHD had state economic development benefits of $31,000. This is the resulting increase in the present value of state residents’ earnings.  Such a benefit would justify considerable spending on public health or education interventions to reduce ADHD incidence.

About timbartik

Tim Bartik is a senior economist at the Upjohn Institute for Employment Research, a non-profit and non-partisan research organization in Kalamazoo, Michigan. His research specializes in state and local economic development policies and local labor markets.
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