students walking at UH Manoa campus Wealth by Association? How Social Networks Drive Inequality in Hawaii April 25, 2024 Studies show that economic connectedness, a poor individual’s share of wealthy friends, significantly impacts economic mobility. Hawaii ranks highly in this metric compared to other states, but disparities exist in local schools. Private high schools have much higher economic connectedness than public schools, driven mainly by students' exposure to wealthy peers. To improve connectedness, policymakers… Read More
Campus View From Tantalus Why College Is Worth the Investment: Estimating the Returns to a College Degree from the University of Hawai`i system January 16, 2024 By Tim Halliday and Rachel Inafuku Read the full report. Across the nation, the cost of higher education has significantly increased over the past 20 years [1]. The surge in tuition prompted the Biden Administration's plan to forgive $39 billion in student loan debt for approximately 800,000 borrowers. The ongoing concerns regarding college affordability have… Read More
Campus View From Tantalus Estimating the Returns to Higher Education Using Administrative Data: A Case Study of the University of Hawai`i System January 16, 2024 Read the summary blog post. What is the value of a degree from the University of Hawai`i (UH)? While college tuition has significantly increasednationally, tuition within the UH system has become more affordable over the last ten years when adjusted for inflation. Despite this improved affordability, college enrollment rates among Hawai‘i’s public school graduates have… Read More
The Nature, Causes, and Consequences of Student Deselection and Criminalization October 9, 2023 By Katherine Irwin and James Roumasset1 A central principle of public economics is that the government should correct market failures. For example, when a firm’s pollution imposes social cost on society—an externality—the market fails to provide an efficient allocation of resources. The externality can be corrected by forcing the firm to pay for the cost… Read More
After the Maui wildfires: The road ahead. August 31, 2023 By Steven Bond-Smith, Daniela Bond-Smith, Carl Bonham, Leah Bremer, Kim Burnett, Makena Coffman, Peter Fuleky, Byron Gangnes, Rachel Inafuku, Ruben Juarez, Sumner La Croix, Colin Moore, Dylan Moore, Nori Tarui, Justin Tyndall, and Chris Wada The immediate recovery efforts from the devastating Maui wildfires continue, and at UHERO we share our community’s anguish over the… Read More
Solving Optimal Groundwater Problems with Excel August 16, 2023 Abstract: Welfare maximizing management of coastal groundwater requires a sequence of pumping targets, typically terminating with a constant withdrawal rate in the long run. In contrast, managing according to sustainable yield at best identifies the constant rate of pumping in the long run. We illustrate an accessible solution method, using Excel Solver to find the… Read More
VOG – Using Volcanic Eruptions to Estimate the Impact of Pollutants on Learning Outcomes December 3, 2022 By Rachel Inafuku. Joint research with Tim Halliday, Lester Lusher and Aureo de Paula. Introduction While an extensive number of studies have shown that pollution is detrimental to human health, a smaller, growing body of literature has found that pollution also negatively impacts cognitive performance. Research has shown that increases in pollutants lead to decreased… Read More
VOG: Using Volcanic Eruptions to Estimate the Impact of Air Pollution on Student Learning Outcomes November 1, 2022 This study pairs variation stemming from volcanic eruptions from Kilauea with the census of Hawai‘i’s public schools student test scores to estimate the impact of particulates and sulfur dioxide on student performance. We leverage spatial correlations in pollution in conjunction with proximity to Kilauea and wind direction to construct predictions of pollution exposure at each… Read More
Lecture hall The Economic Impact of the University of Hawai‘i System 2021 Update May 23, 2021 This report estimates the University of Hawai‘i (UH) System’s economic activity in the state of Hawai‘i in fiscal year 2020, where we define economic impact as the direct, indirect, and induced economic activities generated by UH-related spending in the state economy. UHERO Report Read More
Thank you health heroes, first responders, essential workers Saving the Class of 2020 From the COVID-19 Economic Crisis May 11, 2020 By Sumner La Croix and James Mak At Hawai‘i’s high schools, 11,000+ students at public schools and 3,000+ students at private schools are about to graduate. Sadly, because of COVID-19, graduating seniors from the Class of 2020 are forced to forego festive ceremonies and celebrations that mark their transition to adulthood. Until COVID-19, graduation meant… Read More
Some thoughts on property taxes and school funding October 19, 2018 By Carl Bonham and James Mak Voters will soon be weighing in on a possible amendment to Hawaii’s constitution. The ballot question is, “Shall the legislature be authorized to establish, as provided by law, a surcharge on investment real property to be used to support public education?” 1 Unfortunately, this language provides no definition of… Read More
Raising Property Taxes to Improve Public Schools February 3, 2017 By James Mak and Carl Bonham Hawaii’s public school teachers’ union (HSTA) is back at the State Legislature this session to ask lawmakers to help find more money to pay teachers and other education expenses. HSTA was at the Legislature last year to lobby for a 1% increase in the State’s 4% general excise and use… Read More
Financial Benefits to a University of Hawaii Education March 13, 2016 Each year in the State of Hawaii, over 11,000 graduating seniors must decide whether to attend college or join the workforce. This report estimates the potential rate of return for associate’s degrees, bachelor’s degrees, and post-graduate degrees from the University of Hawaii (UH) system using a standard approach. UHERO Report Read More
Investigating the Effects of Furloughing Public School Teachers on Juvenile Crime in Hawaii October 1, 2013 By Tim Halliday What happens to crime when 180,000 DOE students and all of their teachers are given the day off? When a fiscal crisis led to 17 "Furlough Fridays" during the 2009/2010 school year, we found ourselves in a unique position to find out. While it is tempting to imagine streets being flooded with… Read More
UHERO 101.7: School’s Out, Unemployment Up? August 5, 2013 By Kimberly Burnett and James Jones Last week's Star Advertiser reported that Honolulu’s unemployment rate increased from May’s 4.0% to 4.7% in June. Is the local labor market in free-fall? Not exactly. When students graduate or are released for summer break, many of them start searching for employment. Suddenly the labor market is flooded with thousands… Read More