City Connects: A Promising Return on Investment

 

Shaw Elementary SchoolFor years, economists have used the term “return on investment,” or ROI, to describe business profits. Invest, for example, $100, then earn $200, and that’s a return of $2 for every dollar invested.

Now, increasingly, economists are applying ROI to public investments. Take Henry Levin, a professor of Economics and Education at Columbia University’s Teachers College.

Levin has done a benefit-cost analysis of City Connects, and found strikingly positive results.
Levin’s approach is called “the ingredients method,” and it “calculates how much money any intervention saves society by generating more taxable income, reducing the burden on the health care and public assistance and criminal justice systems, and creating more engaged citizens.”

What’s City Connects’ return on investment?  Continue reading