kitchen table math, the sequel: children's savings accounts & math scores

Friday, June 4, 2010

children's savings accounts & math scores

more from the National Affairs blog:
Math Achievement and Children's Savings: Implications for Child Development Accounts

William Elliott, Hyunzee Jung & Terri Friedline
Journal of Family and Economic Issues, June 2010, Pages 171-184

In this study, we propose that children who have a savings account may be more likely to have higher math scores than children without a savings account. We find that children's savings accounts are positively associated with math scores. Children with savings accounts on average score almost nine percent higher in math than children without a savings account. Further, results suggest that children's savings accounts fully mediate the relationship between household wealth and children's math scores. However, household wealth moderates the mediating relationship. We find math scores of low-wealth children increase by 2.13, middle-wealth children's increase by 4.36, while high-wealth children's increase by 6.59 points. Policy implications are discussed.


Independent George said...

I think you already posted the answer.

RMD said...

yes . . . couldn't kids who understand math better save more because they have a more complete understanding of the implications of saving?

GoogleMaster said...

@IG: ha ha, beat me to it!

How about turning this argument on its head? Maybe parents who are well-educated and good at math are the ones who get well-paying accounting and engineering jobs and have enough left over to start savings accounts for their kids? And then the math ability gets passed down as well.

Allison said...

Does anyone have access to Springer these days? Pitt doesn't seem to have preprints online.

The opening page is not encouraging, however.

The researchers write that 1) income is correlated with achievement, 2) social worker academics have *just* figured out that wealth and income are not the same thing--something everyone over 14 should have realized; 3) wealth is even more "skewed" in its distribution than income; 4) maybe there's a connection between wealth and achievement.

So they propose savings accounts.

Sorta like suggesting you'll fix the homeless problem by giving the homeless homes.

Linda Seebach said...

Actually, fixing the homeless problem by giving the homeless homes is very much the rage in policy circles. When I was at the Rocky Mountain News in Denver, the people who came in to advocate for it had better than decent evidence. Street people are often so because of substance abuse problems, and the costs of treating them are astronomical; the discipline that can be imposed by a civic landlord reduces net costs.

I don't know what has happened in Denver since I retired and moved back to Minnesota, but at least until the recession, the results were generally quite positive.

Crimson Wife said...

I don't have access to the full article- does anyone know whether the accounts are ones to which the child has access (akin to the passbook account I had growing up) or whether it included college savings accounts as well?