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Enrichment Expenditures on Children (in $2008), 1972-2006, Top vs. Bottom Income Quintiles

Duncan and Murnane indicate that higher family incomes are likely to provide more resources to buy books, computers, high-quality child-care, summer camps, private schooling, and other enrichments. Spending on child-enrichment goods and services jumped for families in the top quintiles to a far greater extent than for those at the bottom. These data from the Consumer Expenditure Survey show that spending on children’s enrichment activities increased substantially more between 1972 and 2006 among high-income families than among low-income families. These differences in spending and the changes over time may partially explain the increased gaps in academic achievement between children of different socioeconomic statuses.


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