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Discussion: (3 comments)

  1. PJ Schwackhammer

    There’s way too much aggregation in those median numbers. They tell you nothing about what students actually took in college, what kind of degrees they earned (or didn’t earn), or whether (much less how much) those courses and/or degrees contributed to their eventual jobs. There’s a lot of income space between a hedge funder/CEO, or even an engineer/MD/JD and a Grievance Studies barrista.

  2. Fantastic article explaining why the cursory analysis can be highly misleading. What economist Bryan Caplan is talking about is referred to as a “selection bias”.

    An example that more people will understand is that if you measured college athletes physical abilities version non-college athletes, the college athletes would be superior. Assigning all the difference to the fact that they participated in college athletics would be highly misleading because they participated in college sports but rather they were ALREADY good athletes.

    This is what college promoters do. They assign all the differences between high school and college grads to university attendance but surely the college bound were already top of their class.

  3. The “probability” of completing is connected to the payoff. The problem is we’re making people pay too much to go to college. That’s why college is getting less “worth it” even for those who do complete, and it’s also why students drop out of college: they have financial trouble.

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