Twitter-Logo-300x293Facebook_logoinstagram_logo_vector Hopkins House Blog

Billion Dollar Investments; High Returns

June 15, 2016 05:19 PM
According to a report published this week, targeted investments in programs and policies that are already working can potentially deliver returns of $3 to $15 for every $1 invested.

The report authors hope to illustrate how billion-dollar investments from the public and private sector might improve the lifetime earnings of millions of low-income Americans.

Investment in six key areas, the report claims, has the potential to significantly increase upward mobility for low-income individuals. The six key areas identified in the report are: 
  • Improve early childhood development ($5.5 billion to $11 billion in increased lifetime earnings);
  • Establish clear and viable pathways to careers ($7.3 billion to $14.7 billion);
  • Decrease rates of conviction and incarceration ($4.3 billion to $8.6 billion);
  • Reduce unintended pregnancies ($3.2 billion to $6.4 billion);
  • Reduce effects of concentrated poverty on the lives of people living in distressed neighborhoods ($4.5 billion to $8.5 billion); and,
  • Improve the performance of public systems that administer and oversee social services ($3 billion to $6.1 billion).
Seven in 10 people are born to parents in the "bottom two income quintiles will remain trapped in the bottom of the economic throughout their lives," according to the study.

"To take on the daunting challenge of reversing the social mobility trend lines, we can no longer think in terms of ‘either/or’ options – either we improve early childhood development outcomes or we reduce unintended pregnancies. The data is clear. We’ve got to do both, and so much more," said James Shelton, one of three authors of the report.