Economic returns to education and training for adults with low numeracy skills

22 Dec 2005

The idea that individuals,enterprises and economies gain financially from increased participation in education or training is often assumed, but is not always easy to demonstrate or quantify. Lynne Gleeson explores the benefits of further training for people with low levels of numeracy by analysing Australian and United States longitudinal data which allow links to be made between numeracy level, likelihood of training participation and the wages outcomes of training for less numerate workers. Analysis of the Australian data indicates that individuals with low numeracy skills are less likely to undertake further education, but gain positive and significant economic returns when they do. Continuing with formal schooling is positive and significant for individuals with very low numeracy skills.

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