This is Mary Walden with economist MW, welcoming you to the economic perspective. Today’s program looks at costs and benefits of government programs. Mike, government spending is always an issue. From an economic or business point of view, in determining the value of alternative programs, we want to compare their costs and benefits. Has anyone done this?
- Actually, a massive study at Harvard University recently did this
- Looked on programs directly impacting people
- Education, health care, job training programs are examples
- Costs of programs measured by what government spends
- Benefits focused mainly on those that can be monetarily measured – earnings
- No surprise, study found programs focusing on young people – school, child health care – returned largest return for what’s spent – and benefits exceeded costs
- Less so for programs impacting older individuals
- One issue with results – less time for benefits for older individuals to accrue
- There are other benefits than those only measured by earnings
- I’m MW
And I’m Mary Walden for the Economic Perspective, an NC State Extension program from the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics.