• Entry
  • Reader's guide
  • Entries A-Z
  • Subject index

Foregone Earnings

Discussions of the cost of education typically focus on expenditures, both public (e.g., personnel, facilities, and supplies) and private (e.g., tuition, books, and fees). However, by most estimates, the largest cost of education is associated with the earnings that students forego while they are pursuing their education. Elchanan Cohn defines foregone earnings as the difference between a student’s potential and actual income. Stated differently, foregone earnings refer to the earnings that a student would have received if he or she had opted to enter the workforce rather than pursue education. The concept of foregone earnings is relevant to individuals as they assess the costs and benefits of continued education and to public decision makers who consider policies related to compulsory schooling and social investments to ...

  • Loading...
locked icon

Sign in to access this content

Get a 30 day FREE TRIAL

  • Watch videos from a variety of sources bringing classroom topics to life
  • Read modern, diverse business cases
  • Explore hundreds of books and reference titles