IERC at SIUE Study Shows Significant Portion of Illinois Outmigrants Fail to Return

In the recently released study titled, Outmigration and Human Capital, Homeward Bound or Gone for Good, Eric Lichtenberger and co-author Cecile Dietrich substantiate some of the negative economic impact that outmigration has on the state of Illinois.

  • Share on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on Google+Share on LinkedInEmail a friend
Many of the students who outmigrate tend to be among Illinois’ best students and are more likely to stay out of state upon graduation.

Edwardsville, IL (PRWEB) July 22, 2014

Illinois has a long and highly documented history of exporting significantly more of its high school graduates to out-of-state colleges than Illinois higher education institutions are able to attract from outside the state.

“Many of the students who outmigrate tend to be among Illinois’ best students and are more likely to stay out of state upon graduation,” said Eric Lichtenberger, assistant research professor at the Illinois Education Research Council (IERC) at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville. “That represents a significant loss of tax revenue and human capital for Illinois.”

In the recently released study titled, Outmigration and Human Capital, Homeward Bound or Gone for Good, Lichtenberger and co-author Cecile Dietrich substantiate some of the negative economic impact that outmigration has on the state of Illinois.

“To examine the impact of outmigration, we longitudinally tracked Illinois-specific earnings outcomes among bachelor’s degree earners from 2006-2010 emanating from the Illinois high school graduating class of 2003 (graduates from both Illinois public and private high schools were included),” Lichtenberger said.

Some of the major findings include:
Who are Outmigrants?

  •     Outmigrants tended to demonstrate stronger academic qualifications than their peers who attended Illinois-based colleges.
  •     They were much more likely to emanate from high schools with better aggregate test scores and relatively fewer low income students.
Who Returns to Illinois for Work?
  •     Among the outmigrants with bachelor’s degrees, those with stronger academic profiles were less likely to obtain Illinois employment upon graduation.
  •     Further, the outmigrants with the degrees deemed most important for the Illinois economy (namely STEM degrees), were even less likely to return to Illinois for employment.
Outmigration Consequences to Illinois
  •     Outmigrants experienced significantly lower rates of Illinois-specific employment, resulting in substantially lower aggregate Illinois wages among the outmigrant group.    
  •     Relatedly, substantially fewer of the outmigrants reached the various Illinois-specific earnings thresholds.
  •     This in turn, represents some of the negative economic impact that outmigration has on Illinois .

In terms of policy implications, Lichtenberger suggested that Illinois should consider entering into data sharing agreements with neighboring states to provide a more complete picture of the workforce outcomes of all of its high school graduates.

He also mentioned that more should be done to recruit high school graduates from out-of-state to try to eliminate some of the net loss, such as offering in-state tuition to students from neighboring states as some in-state institutions are doing. Another tactic is actively recruiting outmigrants so that they return, especially those with degrees in key areas such as STEM or Health Science.

“This IERC report makes significant contributions to the discourse regarding education and employment pathways of Illinois students,” noted Janet Holt, IERC executive director. “It is the latest in our series of longitudinal studies of Illinois students.”

The complete report and others in the longitudinal series are available at siue.edu/ierc.

For more information, call the IERC at (618) 650-2840 or (866) 799-4372.


Contact