Economists and other researchers have long demonstrated the relationship between education and earnings. In this brief, we focus on the relationship between educational attainment and earnings in the state of Kentucky. Our results, in many ways, are unsurprising, as the old ad campaign said, “Education Pays.” What may be surprising is that we demonstrate that education pays not only in the big cities of Lexington and Louisville, but also in the more rural parts of the state, such as eastern Kentucky and western Kentucky.

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This research was funded by the Council on Postsecondary Education (CPE) to study the relationship between education and outcomes such as income, employment levels, health, public assistance use, and crime.