Exploring the Wealth Returns to Latino Higher Educational Attainment: Estimates of Work-Life Earnings Profiles
Robles, Bárbara J.
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A significant research gap exists in our knowledge of how educational attainment impacts wealth-building and intergenerational wealth transfers among Latinos. Wealth includes earnings but is a much wider and more fundamental measure of economic mobility. The education-earnings-wealth relationship is explored by constructing estimates of social gains and losses based on work-life earnings profiles for Latino workers. Findings indicate that public investment in Latino higher education results in social benefits by increasing public revenues and contributing to national prosperity. The author presents a compelling picture of the education-earnings-wealth relationship for Latino workers, further justifying nationwide attention and action to address the dearth of lower income Latino workers and the scarcity of college degreed Latinos/as. The essential message is that the increased wealth of individual Latinos/as is not a benefit felt only by the individual or immediate family, but the benefits to society are far reaching. Robles submits considerable data to support her calculations and prove her conclusions that most would agree are intuitive – that if the nation would commit itself through public investment to successfully educate the fastest growing portion of its population, the country would benefit at an immense rate of return.