Author Archives: timbartik

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.

More on the finding that college pays off less if you grew up poor

My colleague Brad Hershbein and I have a new blog post at the Upjohn Institute website on our recent surprising discovery: the percentage return to getting a college degree, in terms of higher earnings, versus getting only a high school … Continue reading

Posted in Educational returns, Timing of benefits

We have enough evidence to expand quality pre-K

Professor Dale Farran of Vanderbilt University has a new policy brief at the Brookings Institution website, entitled “We need more evidence in order to create effective pre-K programs”. This policy brief makes the skeptical researchers’ case for collecting more research … Continue reading

Posted in Early childhood program design issues, Early childhood programs, Uncategorized

Reflections coming out of the recent AEI forum debating pre-K

On Wednesday, February 17, I participated in a forum at the American Enterprise Institute. The forum, organized by AEI Research Fellow Katharine Stevens, was entitled “Does pre-K work? A look at the research.” Forum participants, in addition to me, were … Continue reading

Posted in Early childhood program design issues, Early childhood programs, National vs. state vs. local, Uncategorized

What do we know about right-to-work laws and state prosperity? Not much, because of limited variation over time in which states are RTW states

Vigorous debate continues over the issue of “right-to-work” (RTW) laws, and how they affect a state’s economic growth and wage rates. Right-to-work laws make it illegal to require workers in unionized workplaces to pay dues to the unions that represent … Continue reading

Posted in Economic development, Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Human Capital Programs Can Promote Local Economic Development; As Illustration, Consider “Promise-style” Place-Based College Scholarship Programs

A recent paper by me and a research analyst at the Upjohn Institute, Nathan Sotherland, analyzes the effects of “place-based” college scholarship programs on local economic development. Over 50 of these programs have been created since the 2005 creation of … Continue reading

Posted in Business incentives, Early childhood programs, Economic development

Social benefits from job creation much higher in high-unemployment local economies

A paper of mine was just published in the Review of Environmental Economics and Policy. The paper is entitled “The Social Value of Job Loss and Its Effect on the Costs of U.S. Environmental Regulations”. The paper deals with a … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized

Good policies will usually not “fix everything”

One surprising reaction to the Kalamazoo Promise has been to try to downplay the Promise’s success by emphasizing that many problems remain in Kalamazoo despite the Promise. While this is true, it is irrelevant to whether the Kalamazoo Promise is … Continue reading

Posted in Distribution of benefits | 2 Comments

Thinking again about earlier-age versus later-age interventions in skills development

The recent paper on the Kalamazoo Promise, by me and my colleagues Brad Hershbein and Marta Lachowska, found that this program, which provides up to 100% free college tuition for graduates of Kalamazoo Public Schools, increases college completion sufficiently to … Continue reading

Posted in Distribution of benefits, Early childhood program design issues

Kalamazoo Promise boosts college completion by one-third

In a paper released on June 25, 2015, the Kalamazoo Promise college scholarship program is estimated to increase college completion by one-third.  The college completion effects of the Promise would be expected to significantly increase future earnings. Based on predicted … Continue reading

Posted in Distribution of benefits, Economic development | 1 Comment

Increasing educational performance and reducing educational disparities is more feasible if pursued through high-productivity interventions, including but not limited to early childhood education

On May 27, 2015, the Upjohn Institute released a report on Michigan’s school finance system and how to reform it to improve student performance in Michigan, and lessen disparities among children in various income groups.  The lead author of the … Continue reading

Posted in Distribution of benefits, Early childhood program design issues, Economic development