J. Norman Baldwin

University of Alabama
Political Science

Box 870213
Tuscaloosa, Alabama

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In recent years, I have researched state economic development measured as per capita income, gross domestic product, and employment. I have looked at the applicability to state economic development of leading predictors of cross-national economic development--variables such as human capital, savings, population growth, infrastructure spending and initial levels of economic growth. Moreover, I have been especially interested in the effects of higher education on economic development in the states.

Baldwin, J. Norman and William A. McCracken. 2013. “Justifying the Ivory Tower: Higher Education and State Economic Growth." Journal of Education Finance 38 (3):181-209.
Abstract: As the United States continues to embrace a comprehensive plan for economic recovery, this article investigates the validity of the claim that investing in higher education will help restore state economic growth and prosperity. It presents the findings from a study that indicates that the most consistent predictors of state economic growth related to higher education are state and local spending on higher education R&D from 1988 to 1996 and number of junior colleges for every million persons in a state population from 1997 to 2008. However, per capita highway spending tends to be the most consistent predictor of economic growth during all of the time periods investigated.
Baldwin, J. Norman, and Stephen A. Borrelli. 2008. “Education and Economic Growth in the United States: Cross-national Applications for an Intra-national Path Analysis.” Policy Sciences 41 (2008): 183-204.
Abstract: This article presents the findings from a study investigating the relationship between education and economic growth in US states while controlling for the effects of the leading predictors of economic growth from the cross-national research. It also utilizes a path model to examine direct and indirect relationships between education spending and economic growth measured as per capita income growth. The results indicate that higher educational spending and highway expenditures demonstrate a positive association with growth in per capita income, while K12 (kindergarten through 12th grade) spending and K12 pupil-teacher ratios demonstrate a negative association with income growth from 1988 to 2005. Moreover, K12 spending and population growth indirectly affect income growth through their relationship with K12 pupil-teacher ratios, and higher educational expenditures indirectly affect income growth through college attainment rates. Overall, all but one variable from the cross-national research demonstrates a significant direct or indirect relationship with income growth during at least one time-period investigated. Treating K12 pupil-teacher ratios and college attainment as mediating variables also enhances our understanding of the dynamics that explain growth in per capita income at the sub-national level in the US. However, some unexpected findings emerge when the data are analyzed on the basis of two eight-year sub-periods.
Baldwin, J. Norman, Stephen A. Borrelli, and Michael New. 2011. “State Education Investments and Economic Growth in America: A Path Analysis.” Social Science Quarterly 9 (1): 226-245.
Abstract: This article investigates direct and indirect relationships between state investments in education and economic growth measured as change in per capita gross state product (GSP). As a basis for selecting control variables, it also applies a conceptual framework borrowed from the cross-national growth research. We gathered 18 years of panel data on the 48 continental states and ran GLS regressions with panel corrected standard errors after executing an AR1 correction for autocorrelation. Per capita savings deposits, college attainment, and initial GSP are the most consistent predictors of GSP growth over the 18-year period investigated. However, all of the independent variables in the model, except high school attainment, predict per capita GSP growth from 1997 to 2005. Conclusion. The study supports the virtues of a path model and a cross-national framework for explaining the relationship between educational expenditures and GSP growth, especially from 1997 to 2005.rn rn

Substantive Focus:
Economic Policy PRIMARY
Education Policy SECONDARY

Theoretical Focus:
Policy Analysis and Evaluation PRIMARY