What are the incentives to invest on education?
The visualization has two objectives: to present a comparison of the net present value of investing in upper or post-secondary education for each of the OECD countries and to analyze how this value breaks down into components, both from the private and public perspective.
The map allows to observe the relative size of the net benefits of education through circles of different size; in addition, below the map, a bar is included to make a comparison between the country under analysis and the OECD average. In order to visualize the value by components, a notebook shows each of the cost and benefit concepts estimated for the country as well as costs and benefits totals. Below the notebook, a calculator includes the summary figures for the country: net present value of education and the internal rate of return. The visualization intends to show the calculations as if those were done by a person that needs to decide whether to invest (or not) in upper or post-secondary education.
Two static images of the visualization were produced, but the objective is to make a web-based interactive application. Thus, the buttons on top would allow to change the numbers for a man or a woman, for upper-secondary/post-secondary non-tertiary or tertiary education, and for public or private benefits. The user would be able to change the country under analysis by rolling over the map. Furthermore, the user would be able to click on the cost and benefit concepts in the notebook to visualize the relative size of one specific component across OECD countries (this would change the size of the circles shown in the map and the values in the bar below the map).
For example, in the first static image we show the private net benefits of upper/post-secondary non tertiary education for a man and the breakdown by components. The circles in the map represent the relative size of the total net benefits of education for the OECD countries. In the second static image we use the same options for gender, education level, and type of benefits. However, the direct cost component is selected (in the notebook), such that the circles in the map represent the relative size of the direct cost.
In conclusion, the visualization satisfies both objectives as it compares graphically the value of investing in education for the OECD countries and shows how this value can be disaggregated into different cost and benefit concepts. The design allows also to examine differences by gender, type of education pursued, and from a private or public perspective. Finally, we believe it is user-friendly and the approach adopted provides an easy way to understand the economic implications of the decision to invest in education.