Table of Contents

Introduction / Jere R. Behrman, David L. Crawford, and Nevzer Stacey.
The benefits of education and the formation of preferences / Kenneth J. Arrow.
Conceptual and measurement issues / Jere R. Behrman.
Effects of education on health / Michael Grossman and Robert Kaestner.
Family structure, fertility, and child welfare / Rebecca A. Maynard and Daniel J. McGrath.
Feedback effects and environmental resources / V. Kerry Smith.
Crime / Ann Dryden Witte. For decades, the primary argument in justifying education has been based on its direct economic effects. Yet education also provides "social benefits" for individuals and society at large, including a better way of taking care of ourselves and consequently creating a better society to live in. Though difficult to quantify these social benefits, a more systematic analysis would improve our understanding of the full effects of education and provide a basis for considering related policies. To promote better understanding, the Office of Research of the United States Department of Education commissioned a series of papers on measuring these effects of education. This book will interest social scientists and policy analysts concerned about the critical role of education in society and the formulation of better educational policies, and those interested in the effects of education on health, parenting, the environment, and crime. Those papers, revised and updated, are collected here. Kenneth J. Arrow provides perspective on education and preference formation, and Jere R. Behrman considers general conceptual ad measurement issues in assessing the social benefits of education and policies related to education. These issues are taken up by experts in four fields - health, parenting, the environment, and crime. The introduction and conclusion provide an overview, discuss directions for future studies, and address three common themes: measurement issues regarding what we mean by education and its benefits; basic analytical issues in assessing the impact of education on these social benefits using behavioral data; and whether the social benefits of education justify public policy interventions.