The Nexus of Place and Finance in the Analysis of Educational Attainment: A Spatial Econometric Approach
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractThis study examines the spatial distribution of educational attainment and then builds upon current predictive frameworks for understanding patterns of educational attainment by applying a spatial econometric method of analysis. The research from this study enables a new approach to the policy discussion on how to improve educational attainment for the states and nation; a dialogue where states are viewed not as independent, isolated observations but as a part of a larger system or cluster of observations. This research utilized data from the U.S Census Bureau, American Community Survey of 2009 and examined the percent of the workforce population with a baccalaureate or higher degree. Exploratory spatial data analysis was conducted to study the spatial distribution of educational attainment. Based on initial results, both classic linear regression and spatial autoregressive models were used. The findings from this study indicate that educational attainment is spatially dependent and furthermore, the consideration of the spatial context through spatial autoregressive models can provide greater insight and understanding into educational attainment. This research was able to distinguish significant geographic location effects on educational attainment from funding, economic and industry effects. In particular, spatial concentration of educational attainment was proven to be significant. Several important policy implications were derived from these findings. These policies relate to the following issues: a) allocation of funds to postsecondary education, b) consideration and promotion of industry, and c) acknowledging spillover effects from adjacent states.
Degree ProgramGraduate College