John Winters (Iowa State University)

John Winters (Iowa State University)

Sep 21, 2023 - 3:40 PM
to Sep 21, 2023 - 5:00 PM

Description: Labor-Public Economics Workshop: John Winter (Iowa State University)

Location: 368A Heady Hall

Title: Great Lakes but Not So Great Education for African Americans in the Midwest


College graduation rates in the United States differ substantially by race and ethnicity with African Americans having lower graduation rates than white Americans.  These patterns are well documented.  Less well documented, however, is the fact that college attainment and ethnic differences in college graduation rates also differ across regions of the U.S.  Specifically, African Americans from the Midwest region have especially low college graduation rates, the lowest among the four Census regions.  For white and Hispanic Americans, the Midwest has the second highest college graduation rates among the four regions.  Thus, overall black disadvantage in college graduation appears especially severe in the Midwest.  After documenting this important fact, I next confirm that lower college graduation rates for Black Midwesterners correspond to lower likelihood of achieving a relatively high income.  Thus, the lower college graduation rates for Black Midwesterners appear to have significant financial consequences as expected.  I also show that among Black workers, earnings for college graduates relative to high school graduates are relatively strong in the Midwest, which suggests that the Midwest does provide a good financial return to higher education.  Thus, researchers and policymakers should seek to better understand and improve college graduation rates for Black Midwesterners.