Carl H. Lindner College of BusinessCarl H. Lindner College of BusinessUniversity of Cincinnati

Carl H. Lindner College of Business

Higher Levels of College-Degree Attainment Boosts Employment for All, Even the Least Educated

UC News
Monday, December 19, 2016 6:23 PM
When it comes to four-year college degree attainment, a rising tide lifts all boats. According to research out this week from the University of Cincinnati, higher levels of college-degree attainment in an area boost the employment rate for all in that area. In fact, the least educated receive the biggest boost in terms of spillover effect.

Research by John Winters, assistant professor of Economics in the Carl H. Lindner College of Business, indicates that a rise in residents with college degrees would parlay into higher employment rates for all.

Winters concluded this by analyzing census data between 1980 and 2000 for those aged 25-55 in 283 metropolitan areas of the United States, a geographic area covering more than 80 percent of the U.S. population. His research, "Human Capital Externalities and Employment Differences Across Metropolitan Areas of the USA," is published December 10, 2012 in the Journal of Economic Geography. 

Through his research, Winters revealed that for each 10 percent rise in the number of residents with a four-year college degree, the average overall employment rate in United States metropolitan areas rose by 2 percent between 1980 and the year 2000.

That employment rate rose higher for women (2.2 percent) vs. men (1.9 percent) and benefited some of the least educated the most dramatically.