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Hannah Heinemann

The Political Economy of Upward Bound



Hannah Heinemann ’23


Esra Kose, Economics Department

Faculty Mentor(s):

Esra Kose, Economics Department

Funding Source:

Culliton Family Fund for Undergraduate Research


This research endeavor studies the initial years (1966-1969) of Upward Bound, a federally funded War on Poverty program designed to increase college attendance and preparedness for low-income and first-generation high school students via tutoring, mentoring, and additional enrichment activities.
The method of inquiry was regression analysis to determine which political and poverty factors motivated program funding per capita. Our paper was modeled after Bailey and Duquette (2014), which sought to understand the factors that influenced funding for the War on Poverty Community Action Programs. We applied their regression formula using the program data that we merged with the relevant political and poverty variables to assess the economic and political climate of each county.
The main findings of the analysis reveal the poverty indicators, specifically for each level of income below the poverty line (designated at $3K) were statistically significant, increasing funding for each share per capita. For each share of nonwhite residents, a county received a greater amount of funding. For political variables, the size of population per capita was not found to hold any significance. For counties that experienced a change in the share of Democratic voters between the 1960 and 1964 elections, it received greater funding; meanwhile, counties that voted democratic in the 1964 election were linked to receiving slightly less funding. The presence of a major committee member/leader in the 89th Congressional House allocated greater funding to their home districts.

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