At the risk of being accused of taking away the party punch bowl, readers should know that I stand to benefit a great deal if more Americans partook in the college experience since I teach large numbers of introductory and intermediate economics students for a living.Despite this, he argues against President Obama's call for increased higher education. Worth noting:
- There are diminishing returns to aggregate educational attainment
- Education is costly
- The more low quality students are pushed through low quality schools, the greater the returns from attending prestigious schools to differentiate yourself
- A good portion of college is consumption for the students
- Richer countries have higher rates of tertiary completion, but causality is difficult to prove; there are notable counterexamples to received wisdom
- Education is a good, but so are other things: there are opportunity costs. As Rizzo asks,
Does it make sense to sacrifice more and better carpenters or professional baseball players just to lead the world in college completions? Perhaps I am overplaying that hand. But there are many ways for individuals and societies to improve their human capital and productivity without relying on political forces to put more people through college.