does empowering young people in a community boost the community’s economy?

(Los Angeles) We made this announcement today on the CIRCLE homepage:

CIRCLE receives W.T. Grant Foundation Support to Study Social and Economic Effects of Youth Civic Empowerment and Participation

Much research by CIRCLE and others finds that civic activities have social, physical, and economic benefits for the young people who participate. For instance, volunteer service boosts academic success. Meanwhile, a growing body of research finds that the levels of civic engagement in a community as a whole are related to that community’s economic resilience, quality of education, and security.

This body of research has not so far focused on the specific question of whether engaging young people in civic activities improves social and economic outcomes for communities as a whole over time. We hypothesize that young people’s civic engagement is especially important for the economic vitality of their communities, and we will test that hypothesis using data from Chicago neighborhoods and national data for counties.

See also does service boost employment?, the benefits of service for low-income youth,  and against methodological individualism or why neighborhoods are not like broccoli.

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About Peter

Associate Dean for Research and the Lincoln Filene Professor of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Tufts University's Tisch College of Civic Life. Concerned about civic education, civic engagement, and democratic reform in the United States and elsewhere.